Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fall Poems



September  once, sound was all above me
buzz of crickets, shrill cicadas
shook the treesabsent now
instead it’s the sharp crunch 
of insect bodies 
mixed with acorns
beneath my boots

old leaves too
one day they’re tree-bound and wind-rustled
and the next day they show up
down here

this transference 
seems fraught with some meaning
it is beyond me 
like the warmth that slips farther 
away each day

I know it is gravity
that does it
but it seems
much heavier than that


Late in October 

Playing the odds of one more warm day
The last katydid is hanging tough
While a mantis prepares for hara-kiri

Nervous chipmunks pool intelligence
They’re drawing up secret maps 
And hiding them in burrows 
I hear each year they forget
Where they’ve stashed them
And so must struggle like the rest of us
Blinded by frozen eyelids
Stumbling, falling 
Toward utter hibernation

Squirrels are in my face 
Staring right through me
Peering for nuts I may have hidden
behind my ears

I guess I’m no threat now
Compared to what’s coming
The ones who can’t take the pressure
throw themselves in front of cats


Fault for the Fall 

You’re just being cruel
We really did all we could
To pretty things up around here

A lot of us are trying to pick up after you
But it’s a lost cause and we know it

Leaves are strewn around
With no concern for what’s getting clogged up
Don’t you know the rain needs somewhere to go?

Treeloads of berries are rotting on the ground
The sidewalks are all sticky
And it’s starting to smell
We have to live here, you know

It’s cold
Getting fat is making sense
Already, some of us are starting to give in
Those white flakes you threw in my face today
Were an insult, weren’t they?

Not only that
You threw my hat in the dirt
When I walked out the door

And this killing spree of yours
Goes on and on
I know for a fact
The doe on the highway 
Was innocent



Scratching my boot heels
Rough flesh of wind-pelted trees
Too dry, the newspaper said
To show the very best of fall color
Another failure like this
And the whole year will end
In the middle of December
Instead of just freezing
It will be two weeks
Of absolute zero
And no light at all
Then we’ll be sorry
We criticized

Autumn’s best effort


words and image by Tullio DeSantis
image: “FALL” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011.


……………Text and Image, TFD 2007


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Early Fall




Absolutely predictable, autumn arrives and I am stunnedby the disinterested brutality.How else could it be?It is, after all, alive.

I have been treated this way before.Yet I stand on the ledge of summerpeering past the equinoxand I expect the new thingthat never happens.

This must be an unlearnable lesson.Or else, I am a pathetic unteachable
studentone who has received so much good
effort.I take his failure to heart and
carry it as if my own.Because it is.*Autumnal

Getting rough out here.
The cicadas of late summer are silent.
Their crisp skins, strewn around
mixed with acorns,
lifeless leaves.

My path is crossed by doomed survivors
– old bees getting a final buzz off of their chests
– limping crickets fooled by mid-day sun
– crazy drunken flies in kamikaze loops

The praying mantis I spy
poised on a fire escape downtown
has no religion.
And the green katydid
flying toward me
with impossible wings
is unnerving

These squirrels are way ahead of me.
Summer was just a dream
and they knew it.


Image: “Early Fall” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011


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Late Summer



Late Summer

I think a new poem

dramatic apocalyptic science

earthquake, hurricane, flood

a lone carp swims

in the darkened street

flashlights long nights

carrying water in and away

odd feathers appear

with other scents

from distant air

different birds occurring

leaving quickly

no goodbye

feeling cool now

writing of new days

getting back to playing

in orange waves of sunlight

imagining again

my tools

radiate clarity

I draw up a storm

Image: “Late Summer” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011


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