The poet at work on “The Road to Winter” inspired by the light at high noon in October shown here in this photo. The poem is also a nod of empathy to a poem by Emily Dickinson: “There’s a certain Slant of light,/Winter Afternoons–” (#320).


The Road to Winter

The angled light cuts deeper
Here the 45th degree pulls taught
The string-like girth belies the tension’s
Spring wore warmer shades and fell
Into these woods we steal like
Darkling needles evergreen
Brush soft behind me velvet drape
Wrapped shadows feed on moss and
Fungal rings hold cinnamon and clove and
Nutmeg fawn your dapples hide a sanctuary
Born the minute light is sapped away a
Taunting yellow flame the funnel
Wind me tighter ‘fore I’m
Tangled limbs go gray and dry and
Snap and crack the ember spent its heart a
Pumpkin orange hues each hollow
Sound like timber rending ground–hilt to
Tip the bowl of nighttime colors
Hide the axe and leave me splayed crest-
Fallen once again in love with endings
Taught to spring the trap let light between
Old leaves burnt-golden broom and
Paint my crown a dying green.

– Sanguine Woods (c)2016)