C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

Decay

By: Benjamin Rose


On the stone terrace, leaves in disarray

Garb the ground with russet and gold; not like

Threads unwound from a fiery arras

Paving the path of a conquering lord

Proud in his might of generation and decay,

But like wax paper discarded, the trash

Of a vagrant tossed unto the roadside

Indifferently; where, blown into the mud,

And all secretions of the rain-rinsed earth,

They leach their poison into the soil.


The air has cooled to the edge of freezing

In the rose of this November morning

Where pale fire falls on Japanese maples

Cabernet red, and variegations

Of maple and oak turn the hills claret

With bitter flavoring of the year’s death

Drowsed and numbing to the tannined spectator

Who eyes, unchanged, their mutability.

All summer harmonies evaporate,

And the cold knell of Midinváerne beckons.


What shall become of our labors when all

Our ports of call are warm and unwelcome

Beneath the blanket of a carbon sky?

When Spring and Summer are buried in storms

And winter’s chill recedes into memory

Under the haze of three degrees centigrade?

Perhaps the Darkness shall anticipate

Our own destruction and sever the chord

That we would sing over terminal Man

Made rich by feeding his funeral pyre?





Benjamin Rose is a poet based in Washington, D.C.