Posted by: theodorecosmosophia | October 7, 2010

In celebration of fall

“Appalachian Autumn Womb”

I drive eastward out of Upstate New York, smoking bidis.

The dull monotony of interstate gloom

turns abruptly into rural joy;

small mountains replace the small,

depressed cities of post-industrial New York.

Cows are seen more often than people.

Small farms dot the landscape

when there is a break in the roughness of the topography.

Most of the rural routes are lined with stone fences

barely visible through the tangled brush,

a reminder that people had once come here

to conquer the land,

chopping down the forests,

using the abundant rocks they found

when trying to farm

as walls.

The forest has returned,

its thickness

a testament to the strength of nature;

the presumptuousness of those walls

a testament to humanity’s hubris.

I pass by tourists

Who take pictures of the landscape.

Green countryside turns to

orange, brown, and yellow.

But I enter her,

take long walks in the woods,

assaulted by the colors, above, below,

and on all sides.

I fast for days in this forest womb of ambient color,

the long Autumn shadows

and ever more barren trees

a soft reminder of the cold winter ahead,

a reminder that nature celebrates death

as well as life.

These tourists cannot see

That while the forest is pretty

From the roadside

Its true beauty

Is found within.

Appalachia 1997


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