Autumn Party – Clive Donovan

Autumn Party

She lets the light out, the light spills
Right out the barn door and they lie
On the orchard floor leaking
Gold light as they lie
And die on the orchard floor.
Mice and wasps take what they want.
The wind dries to sweetness
Shrivelled apples, uneaten figs,
Fuzzy white skins of orange.
Dizzy flies make merry on ferment,
Cat plumb crazy with a hazel nut.
A little dancing jig
In candlelight and fire-smoke.
Grinning American pumpkins, grotesque,
Fattened up with fertilizer.
Will there be soup and scorched potatoes?
Ritual tasting of chestnuts on burned tongues?

Around the fire the silver circle tightens
To an insulated ring of coated flesh
Between the golden blaze and black chill.
Always a single vacant space
Rotating, where the smoke exits and
Attracted spirits flock to fill the gap –
Voracious for earthly gossip
On this, their visiting day.
We pass long cigarettes,
Sit on bales of hay,
Puffing autumn away.
The yellow heart of the fire crackles
And subsumes our souls:
We are all but sparks in a stellar wind,
A little quicker than stars, much shorter lived.
But what splendid cheers are wrenched
And what prodigal showers flare
To drench the party when some body
Rises and boots a half-charred log!

Clive Donovan devotes himself full-time to poetry and has published in a wide variety of magazines including The Journal, Agenda, Acumen, Poetry Salzburg Review, Prole, The Poetry Shed, Stand and The Transnational. He lives in the creative atmosphere of Totnes in Devon, U.K. often walking along the River Dart for inspiration. He is hoping to entice a publisher to print a first collection.

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