Ceres

Here is a poem for the season ~ like a zaftig ode to Autumn: bountiful, curvaceous, round, pumpkiny. A succulent feast!  

by Lesleigh Owen  © 2006

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Autumn’s smooth, puffy bronze cheeks,
 salty sweet chin
 Gently creaking sounds of awakening,
 Bones groaning like the cracking
 of a rusty cellar door,
 Autumn, with her dusty-wheat-scented breaths,
 whose round, curving, gently drooping body
 polishes the world into
 smooth, gray contours

 Her eyes,
 like newly-discovered amber
 with never-popped air bubbles,
 warm the room like vanilla-scented candlelight
 as she envelops the world in her
 spicy rolls of flesh

 Summer’s not the time for me:
 Sunlight that casts angular shadows in wide-open mouths
 No more feeling the scrape of sand
 sloughing over my dense curves,
 trying to whittle down my folds of flesh
 into smooth, plastic expanses of cookie cutter skin
 No more poppy-scented laughs
 that chime like dissonant dinner bells
 and abrade my delicate ears

 Bright white light
 Take away my sight
 Thin, hungry, sweaty bodies,
 arms shaking, smiles flaking, biceps quaking
 Frozen in flashes of sunlight on teeth
 False idols of perfection
 that die before they can ever
 live a full-bodied life

Autumn, that sweet, round, wise, dangerous old woman
 arrives slyly in her orange, Cinderella-like pumpkin –
 as round and majestic as people –
 tossing dried, crackling, russet leaves like confetti or candy:
“Throw me something, grandmother!”

Autumn: Happy, crisp, nutmeg, rounded season
 My mouth opens and closes in happy little O’s
 over words like “orange” and “clove,”
 circular, bouncing words,
 round, rich, and warm.
 Leaves bend and snap beneath my ponderous weight
 while the scent of earth weaves like cinnamon
 through my sinuses.

 Yawning, indolent light puffs gently through
 twisted branches and desiccated leaves,
 shining golden orange
 like heaps of buttered, cinnamon-scented, steaming mashed yams
 or lightly-oiled strings of spaghetti squash

 Walking this cooling, linear stretch of sidewalk,
 I am tempted to bite into the toothy, yellow winds
 that crease around my body like well-starched sheets,
 to jump high and far,
 passing through the low-hanging laundry
 snapping in the sky,
 jump miles away from all scents of limestone and exhaust,
 to throw my gray, woolen poncho over the clouds
 and roll in the decaying scent of leaves
 that stick to my face
 like allspice on a baker’s hands

 I can finally breathe beneath this nubby grayness
 that stretches like a fluffy headscarf
 over the dome of the sky.

 Seasonal bounty,
 Harvest time, time for rest
 Shelving our immature dreams
 And discovering reverence for plenty

 At night, I eat ginger carrot soup for supper
 and slurp pumpkin custard from heirloom dishes
 My squash-shaped body, –
 honored for its softness,
 its abundance,
 its life-affirming heaviness –
 snuggles into the scratchy red blanket
 crocheted for me by my mother
 while I bounce children and tradition
 on my plump, arthritic knees
 and sip cocoa and warm candlelight.

 Fatness and autumn:
 Round, pumpkiny, bountiful:
 A sensual feast

Fatness and autumn, –
lush and earth-scented as mounds of warm flesh –
dance together in gentle spirals
 like leaves in a windstorm

 Come evening time, Autumn and I sit
 like old friends,
cackling on the front porch,
 bellies bouncing together
 while heavy, purple mugs of chamomile tea
 warm our loving, generous,
 fleshy hands.

Autumn Woman ~ Tali Marotz

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