Saturday, September 08, 2007

Autumn Memories - from poetry workshop

The poem is structured on the sestina form. 39 lines, 6 stanzas of 6 lines each line ending in one of six repeating words. The final three lines close the poem. Two of each word is used in one line each to summarize the story the poem is attempting to convey.

November arrives, welcome relief from heat, now cool,
Misty morning sunlight with its companion, smoke.
Stepping out onto the porch, lungs expand, air is crisp.
I inhale the tang of harvest burns.
Rocking in my chair, my thoughts recall annual visits to the hills
and friendships bound together with cornhusk rope and cider apples.

Twenty-six years past, trees planted, our children like young apples.
Now a time for jackets, gloves and socks to combat the autumn cool.
I smile as I recall and anticipate the annual trek to the hills.
Bright sunlight faintly shadowed with harvest smoke
Within - my soul burns
For banks of leaves - dry, brown, crisp.

"Peach cobbler time has ended", Barbara proclaims, preparing a sweet fruit crisp
made with love and filled with cinnamin, sugar, flour and apples.
Her backyard houses a growing debris pile for the yearly burn.
My porch to hers, I breathe in the morning cool
and the repeating tang of harvest burns.
I relax knowing that for a short time I am in the hills.

Our friendship has been a gently rolling hill,
A soft series of never-ending swells punctuated with moments of crispness
or the smothering pall of vampyric smoke
heavy with the loss of one of OUR apples.
Inner life sags and cools
but then slowly rebuilds and explodes in a life affirming burn.

Back on my porch, I lose myself in the burning
desire to run to the hills,
to surrender to the autumn coolness,
to splash through leafy mounds of golden brown crackle and crisp,
to learn the secret of squeezing cider from apples
and pumping bellows on sausage, making rings of smoke.

Autumn is smoking.
Orchard caretakers fire up the burners.
Smells waft, roasting green apples.
Friends tramp through golden rainbow hills,
have fun in the kitchen baking a sweet crisp
and breathe in the evening coolness.

Rocking on my porch, I dream of days at Apple Hill
wrapped in memories of drifting smoke and tears that burned,
binding friendship over fruit-filled crisps and cool evenings.


Julie Marie said...


Your poetry just keeps getting better and better. For all my classes as an English major, I never learned what a sestina was. You could not have picked a better topic for the mood I am in.



The Lone Beader said...

Beautiful writing!!! :)

Mary Timme said...

I love your poem! Tasty, poignant, and sadly happy, just as autumn should be.

Susie said...

Hi Annie,
Just catching up here. You've been busy with your poetry and crafts. I especially loved your trip to Oakdale. Looks like a lovely road to travel.
Loved the surfer dude :)

Lea said...

Just beautiful... I feel like I was there on Apple Hill... I especially like the line "Twenty-six years past, trees planted, our children like young apples...."

thank you...

Greggo said...

i ran across a sestina in a poetry book i have, and found that one to be virtually incomprehensible. yours is amazingly heartfelt and beautiful. i'm not sure of the point of the format of the sestina, other than to challenge the writer. if that is the case, you've overcome the challenge! very well done.

Beth said...

I do so look forward to your first book of published poetry! I want a signed edition! I Love reading all of your poems and they do keep getting more amazing!

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Annie... your words are like magic.. laced with dreams and hopes for the fall season. Thank you for sharing, and thank you ever so much for visiting my blog. I cherish your kind words and comments.


Jingle said...

a time to run up the hill
to celebrate friendship and more,
how festive that is,
beautiful images,
smooth flow.
Thanks for sharing!

Amanda said...

Amazing craft of words here, loved the read...thanks so much for linking with Potluck!!

Susan said...

Loved this!
I am inspired to use this form...excellent work!

Jingle said...

Thanks for the participation,
See you next time!