October apples burst from ancient trees and fall among the rich September corn - the end of summer's world.
Silent canoes glide peaceably on beast-watched lakes. Steam rises. Loons in their last refrain point south.
Leaves, yellow and unwilling, detach from ruined choirs - brown and burn on the frosted floor.
Withering vines unveil their final richness: one last dusky perfect sphere.
Mists and mellow fruit-jars scent the cellars of the wise. One scarlet rosehip fills a latent meadow.
A final leaf, giving up its gold to the winter sky, scuds along the Halloween streets, scraping its sepulchral warning: "the dark is close at hand..."
That night the trees creak. Boats are hauled on shore.
November's breath is slower now. Sleep descends in burrows.
Winds wail like wolf-howls, in nights too deep for moons.
Foods called duff and bannock appear on supper tables, while, under the boots of the homeward, street puddles crack with a pre-arctic snap.
Uneasy branches fling themselves against the December house, heralding a sudden silence.
The first wet ghostly fleet of snowflakes dance in propagation on lashes, lives and wool - drift, drop, and race to their graves on the iron ground.
Yuletide axes ring knells into the listening air and carolers sing a scented fir through sentinels of its still standing fellows, enroute to its tinseled wake.
Cider steams in the cabin. Little birds mourn.
Scarlet stains the violet sky at teatime while mornings don greatcoats of steel and battle grey, veined by acid gold. The windows glaze with sun.
Christmas lights make merry on the sugared lawns at night.
By twelfth night the pond ice is six feet thick. January skates twinkle and ring like ancient bells.
The sea creaks to a halt.
At the water's edge, children talk to crystals, ice and salt. And, being his descendants, see these things as flowers of Chronos, gifts of his own coffers, unlonging for spring.
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance