The cold nights have improved the color of the leaves. There are many red and yellow trees now, and the streets are covered in reddish brown pine needles. The mulberry tree is finally beginning to drop some leaves, so the front yard as well as the back will soon need raking. The rain gutters will need to be cleared out again before the next storm arrives, but none is expected this week. The last cicadas have fallen silent, but so far I've found none in the sink on the back porch. It must be because the light is burned out, so there's nothing to attract them. Or perhaps the cats are eating them before I get a chance to see them. I'm not displeased either way.
Tonight the still air feels as though it is waiting to be stirred up, but wind is not predicted. This, too, is satisfying. In a week or so I won't mind a bit of wind to hasten the leaves down, but for now I'm enjoying the autumn color and the placid nights. Stormy winter will come soon enough.
by Joel Toledo
What more difficult burden than this,
the bird's singing outside my room
this midnight? The sharp melody,
sweet and dark,
darkness slicing darkness.
He never rests. Night after night
the lilting sound grows louder,
longer. Now I think of opening the window
to see the outside covered with sound,
as if nothing else exists but birdsong
and dark, one and the same,
the bird is the dark.
Night after night, I am tempted
to step out and be part of this union
of bird and dark. But I fear it terribly.
For definition is the task of day,
where light makes things easy,
like the walk to the great perching tree,
where the bird should be,
but never is.