Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Sky As With Bells, As With Nothing In It

It has been so outrageously gorgeous outside this week that even a reluctant-to-see-summer-go scoffer like me can no longer hold out against the many-colored, fluttering charms of autumn. I went for a walk yesterday, for no reason except that it was so pretty I needed to be out in it, moving around like everything else.

Snowbell, our bunny, has been shedding his summer coat for the past month, and today I notice that his winter coat has come in underneath, thick and even softer than the usual bunny pelt, which is the softest fur I've ever felt, except for chinchilla.

Ron has just come back from a trip and no one has another scheduled for this weekend, which makes me optimistic that soon I can cook dinner and gather everyone around, although we probably won't sit outside and grill anything, as we did last weekend (making Snowbell nervous, as the grill always does). I imagine it will be like this poem, The Sky As With Bells, As With Nothing In It by Arda Collins:

This bright day all together we eat a Sunday dinner.
We watch the sun in the wind through a mirror
that reflects the leaves blowing hard behind glass doors.
Yellow-green, turning violently and violently, and quiet.
The gilded mirror opens up to trees like a high gate
on a wall that leads nowhere, as to a room that lies behind--
a display for window curtains in a department store--
a window dressed up in its Sunday best, an organdy veil
under wool drapes, silky tie-backs with tassels, wall to wall carpet.
A light comes through the curtains as though the last afternoon rays
were coming through the curtains. The light that shines
from a small fixed bulb fixed to white sheet rock.

Come sunshine, finish powdering your nose.
The wind is colder, doors shrink in their frames and close louder.

I think I love this poem mostly for that final couplet, the reminder of the way an autumn day can suddenly turn bleak when the sun goes in, and the feeling of withdrawing indoors, the end of all possibility outside. I'll get that feeling even more strongly as the days get shorter and sunshine scarcer.


Harriet M. Welsch said...

The final couplet and the title make it. I'm not so sure about the line with two fixeds in it. Is that really how it is or is that a typo? It sounds awkward to my ear. But a lovely poem otherwise.

Jeanne said...

Harriet, it is not a typo. I think the line is slow-reading and awkward because it's about how static and fixed everything is inside, compared to the movement outside.

Lass said...

I love this!
Also, why is your bunny afraid of the grill? Does she think you guys are going to eat her?

Jeanne said...

Lass, we used to wonder if the bunny was afraid of being next on the grill, but I think it's more of a fear of fire. He's so old now it's more of a ritual protest.

Anonymous said...

I like this!

Alison said...

"doors shrinking in their frames" (which I noticed Victoria singled out as signifying everything she dislikes about fall) is actually one of the things I like. It is virtually impossible to close doors in our house in the summer, thanks to the humidity.

Yeah, I know - way to destroy the poetry by bringing in practicalities...

Jeanne said...

ReadersGuide, I'm trying to get you in the mood to come out here.

Alison, I don't think practicalities can destroy the enjoyment of a poem. In fact, I think you've hit on the mental connection I was making between the poem and the sticky-in-summer wooden doors of the rabbit hutch!

Nymeth said...

Your opening paragraph made me happy. The weather has been gorgeous around here as well, and I actually remembered you when I was walking in the park the other day. I thought, "am I enjoying signs of impeding death like Jeanne said?" :P And as always, you share the best poetry.

Jeanne said...

Nymeth, I'm touched that you thought of me while enjoying signs of impending death! No, really, I am ;-)

bermudaonion said...

I'm a fan of summer too, but I noticed some leaves changing today and that always makes me smile.

Jeanne said...

Kathy, the leaves are already pretty colorful here in Ohio. Last night it rained a bit, and now we have leaves plastered all over our driveway.