These first cool mornings are redolent 
with fallen apples’ sweet, rotten scent  
and dry grass littered with foliage. 

Flowers fade; leaves turn from green
to brown with nothing in between,
and crops gave up weeks ago. 

But this is not autumn.
Nature’s grabbing what she can,
counting the souls of every aliferous foliole

before abandoning us to the susurrus,
the unsettling tinnitus
of leaves fried by the sun.

Kim M. Russell, 6th September 2022

I was inspired to write this poem by an article by Alys Fowler, a gardener and Guardian columnist. It was perfect for this week’s Poetics at the dVerse Poets Pub with Mish, in which she has ‘a word for that’.

Mish has provided us with a wide choice of memes of unusual words with which she has been inundated in her Facebook feed and asks us to choose three or more of them (and any words in bold type within the prompt) and include them in a poem of any style. She suggests using one of the words as a title and spring boarding off it as a theme, which I have done with the wonderful word feuillemort, which means the colour of a dying leaf.


39 thoughts on “Feuillemort

  1. Oh my Kim, your first stanza brought me right back to the very first home we owned, an old farmhouse on 30 acres of land in rural Iowa. We had a stand of three apple trees and that fermented smell of fallen rotting apples, accompanied many times by the buzzing of bees around them, is something we saw every year! Just excellent description and use of the unusual words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Misky! Thinking about it, maybe I should have included the two squirrels that have moved into our garden and have spent all day running along the fence, up and down the apple trees, filling their cheeks and then running off again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore the transformation from summer to autumn. The last lines captured the sights so well:
    before abandoning us to the susurrus,
    the unsettling tinnitus
    of leaves fried by the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous capture of that nudge of Autumn. I was especially enamored with “Nature’s grabbing what she can, /counting the souls of every aliferous foliole” . I really enjoyed this, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Flash floods, torrential rains, drought, and bestial wildfires–summer is exiting like a wounded lion this year. Your poem has gentled down the chaos, and lulls me into a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My favorite was the last, the tinnitus of the leaves. My ears have rung ever since being on the firing line for rifle qualification of the weapons. But they were made worse yet by walking out of the student center at work into a rock band playing on the steps. Just as I was out an explosive fired on the stage area behind them.

    Liked by 1 person

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