Autumn Becomes


Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow…
~Robert Frost, Desert Places

As I wonder about
your movements, the moon
rises, orange and generous,
just over the low lands
that grow into foothills
and mountain forests.
You are
here, in the faint light of dusk,
the flying clouds, the dust
and devils whirling
across the land. You are
gone, in the same light, the wind
that brought you
now bringing
the dark-
the dream comes
to me early or late depending,
in light and in darkness
at some moment, always,
in this desert
of the world-

In the light wind
and moonlight, under autumn,
the desert shifts and becomes
itself, deserted, but for me
and the shadows shaking
in the dry underbrush.
I am
tended by time and hinterland;

the gold and radiance
of the days growing colder;
the nights, the desert
now extending and taking
over the land-
land that once
pressed warm into earth, watered
by monsoon, transformed
by sun.
Beneath the sweet
autumn evening, mountains
cast their shadows
before a sunset
colored sky, while I
think of winter,
and the way sound travels
over snow.

Khristan Doyle