Cathexis Northwest Press
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.