Exile in Autumn, Prose Poems for Lost Souls
By: Brian Michael Barbeito
Table of Contents
You Are the Sun
there was the super flower blood moon and the nocturnal rains like bad dreams. but you are the sun. there was the world, oh my god and word, how miserable and low, petty and shallow. but you are the sun. there was the witching hour and grey dawn, w/the angel absent and the psychic discord of mean souls in the air. but you are the sun. there was the world frozen, the hopeful and inspiring wildflower of the pastoral field gone long ago, as if it never existed, and I told whoever I could about it’s beauty but nobody believed me at all. but you are the sun. there was dismay, discord, even death and no re-birth, just a thousand bad memories. yet you are the sun. there was the long lonesome sky even the birds gone far away, trading winter’s dark for summer day, and the wind vexatious, the towns unwelcoming and acrimonious, the cities saturnine and sinister. but you are the sun. all the major and minor arcana disappeared save for the Tower card. it painted itself upon the world everywhere. I went to the loam and stream, the sea and lake, the earthy valley and ridge and even to where fires tried to burn brightly. but there was nothing really, truth be known, and I could hardly see the earth. it was as if even day was night. because you are sun. because you are the light.
city country town the lake the sea the sky the sun the upwards worlds like water and the downward lands like anything. bloom rain mud grasses spring and the summer borne afterwords, wild and robust, colours in courtyards and birdsong all along. ghosts whispers doldrums down and then aspiring to ascension and the quietude of truth and knowing. autumn in the field…leaves and wind, a promissory note somehow for winter, cold and barren but w/it’s own particular beauty…see the morning has become suddenly and gracefully calm…a bird has stayed and waits on a branch distant. the fallen snow a million-billion-zillion crystals the same and different shining for the light of the new sun.
the sanguine spirit, or place beyond place, epistolary belles lettres
there was a place past the places and sometimes the deer one could discern, had slept there, under the trees where the earth was carpeted w/pine and soft dirt, for there was at each spot a type of bed where they had laid. and against logic down the way, perhaps because of unseasonably warm temperatures, yellow flowers, like a type of wild daisy with a dark centre, still grew alone and swell and well enough swaying just a bit for the breezes that visited. and the hawks sometimes flew, and the rabbits sometimes ran, and the fox could sometimes be seen in the far distance. but mostly there was quietude and stillness, only the mature stoic evergreens stationed in fields under the blue autumnal skies. a snake watched me, curiously, cautiously, and I went away to let the snake be, for it was more the snake’s home than mine. sumac retains the red colour and the leaves look tropical. feral ferns green cast intricate shadows upon stones and fallen trees flaxen for time and the sunlight, for weather and process. in such a place were not the heavy footed, mean spirited, or surface level souls. those types went in for the world instead, to see and be seen as the old saying goes. no, in that place beyond places was a good spirit that infused the flora and fauna, the air and earth, the sun and rain and the wind.
trinity, phantoms, worlds
once I saw the dusk and it became late like ink ring the sky but just before there was a world silhouetted there under some light and I didn’t know what it meant. an owl had been watching and flew away. and I thought and thought and thought but always came up with the same answer and the answer was your eyes. and once the night was in full bloom and I prayed to angels and guides inside the witching hour to protect my soul from darkness in a world that had lost its way and that was full of ignorant and willfully haughty people. and a bird sang in the distance, unseen, right in the middle of the night, and I remembered only your eyes and you then went inside a dream and whispered secrets. and once the dawn and day and the magical branch sway, autumnal colours and odd gnostic airs and cares and stairs. I walked the country mile and was among reeds and sumac, moss and loneliness, wild peculiar trees full of atmosphere, trees that spoke in their own ways of many things. but really though there was an incredibly poor man and an incredibly rich man, both who I spoke to at length and both who wanted to be my friend, I cared only about another vision, and that was the memory of your eyes. and so when the dusk and the night and the day came to be again and again, I remembered such like a prayer like a meditation like a contemplation like a poem. i remembered like something I forgotten. i remembered like love.
I remember I saw our old friend once, before I never saw him again, not knowing I would never see him another time. I was outside of where I lived and the sun shone brightly and he came and talked to me the same as ever. we had all through the years gone to the fun places near the sea and we had gone in the sea. he was kind and knowing and always there for us. I know then as I know now about the thick green lawns and how they meet and mesh and marry the sandy places. or how the waves sound at the night so ancient and relaxing, assuring. the piers. the birds. the boats travelling and the ones stationed at the docks. the inter-coastal waterway w/the mechanical bridge and the open ocean vast, impossibly vast. and our friend. we talked. the day. the light. the good words and the good world there. they say the past is the past. even wise people say that. but I throw their words and books out to boulevards, to garbage heaps. why? because I have chosen the memory of the sun, or kindness and friendship and gratitude, of mysticism and the poems of the sea and shore. I have chosen such ov’r the world and it’s ambition. this was an easy early choice, made long ago. yes I remember I saw our old friend one last time, in the easy morning sub-tropical sunshine. and now and again, I do the poet’s job, the writer’s job, and make a note for him, remember him, recall him. maybe we will see one another again. maybe not. but either way, he is talking there, and I am listening,- the sun warming both of us and the worlds around.
autumnal, or unabashedly in love with the mystic sense
now beginning, especially at night and in the mornings, the fall is a time of colder air and the change of leaves, sweaters and jackets and the different wind or overcast textured sky. leaves become yellow and red, and many wither away upon the branches. the spiritual and cellular memory of all autumns past somehow seep into consciousness and dreams, and are sanguine and saturnine at once. endings. new beginnings. the far past and the near future. autumn. the night rain is talking, trying to say something against the window and sill. good and strange synchronicities happen. some souls I knew are not returning and the lessons have been learned, the experiences had, while new spirits are around and travelling w/me on paths figurative and literal. somewhere is the lake and somewhere is the sea. one last chance these days for the hard working summer bee. I listen to the leaves as they wave and psychically say ‘hello,’ whist some old humans have learned and several have not. no worries. my destinies are my own. where is the mountain? the long path is framed by wild sumac and it borders the farmer’s loam and field. see the yellow golden rod swaying in the pre-dusk. I remember myself. the earth there had dirt, rocks, sand, pebbles, chaparral, wildflowers purple and white, ants, and other. how to explain to the worldly who believe not in nature about its value? they think I am. I nonsense and I think the same of of them. my heroes are departed by have left their words and song behind. I understand and laud them and I know they would understand me. your eyes. your gait. your spirit. there are plums purple in September. they used to live by wooden retaining walls and wrought iron gates. I watched the storms overflow the ravine. a ghost from the other world came to visit me. I watched the night become borne and fell unabashedly in love w/the mystic sense.