From faded grass beneath the bole
the last red windfall hunted down,
last marigold, last aster blown,
the dingy shades of autumn fall
and tinctures drown.


The orange-flash hunters go to ground;
a gray reed takes the wind and sways.
Season of death and fruitlessness:
Green sea-ducks flee the leaden sound
and all tones cease.


Where is the cast of summer’s air?
Nothing is until it’s gone.
On that gray day we graved her down
the long black hills to dark seas where
dead colors run.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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