autumn lengths

autumn lengths
may/june 1991, greenlane, auckland

autumn_lengths
coming in its measures…. an autumn Weathercat exposé

I.
leaves  of   the plane  tr e e
caught  in the  sprung  head  of  this  year’s
branch
r a i s e   one   against  the other   a dry voice
like  animals  who have
outlived  their
dying
would  kneel  downwind
to  the  earth.

II.
the  hill*   harvests   the sun  at  evening  /  all
the  burst  grain   of   light
piled   against  already   cold
fallings   away.
morning   the hill   splits   every surface
to  the   strengthening   sun/
loses  itself   to  the   harbouring rains.
at   night  cuts   beneath   the hundred-proof
stars    a knot  of
dyed-steel  lights
a stone  needle
upon   a dark  slept   in dark.

III.
some  kn o w n  shade  the  s e a son   casts
through  your flesh  BITES
on   the  COLD  like  WINTER  APPLES  /
the  hunger   of wine.
memory   spins  like  a web-caught   leaf  at the sky’s   edge
the  shade   breaks  out  within you   into a
lighter  flesh   /   summer moth
become   s p i d e  r  tapping
out  steps   on the coiling   air.

the   sun   itself  bare   like a   blade   finds   MATCH
in the  buckling  leaves   the sea-blind
ridge  of the  clouds   the skin
drawing   more deeply   to your eye   that
would  see  this sharpness  no more than
sheer  focus.

some  kn o w n  shade  the  s e a son   casts
through  your  flesh  BITES
on  the  COLD  the  sure thing
driftwood   sheep bone
hewn  like a cirrus   shoulder  of   cloud

*Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill)

Copyright © 2018 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved

Click on the link above to hear a reading of the poem.  The accompanying music is from the third movement of Symphony No. 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler, here performed by the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Ivan Fischer.

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