The Season of Fireflies is Past

For Reat Toads Tuesday Platform.

The Season of Fireflies is Past
“There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.” Anthony Bourdain

The season of fireflies is past.
the shade from trees is getting longer –
days are becoming shorter –
nights are growing cooler.
It is so silent
The sound of a train whistle
several miles away carries
faintly over the tops of trees –
it moves like a slow river and pools
on the black grass of my back yard.
I’ve seen one firefly here at the end.
It winked at eye level
and a few minutes later it winked higher up
and still a few minutes later it winked
up in the top of the old oak.
The train whistle awakens the insects –
the cicadas and crickets –
it awakens the tree frogs who begin their
treble belching – and the old bullfrog
in my dying garden sings
basso profundo – the cicadas
ratchet it up a little bit louder.
I can feel it in my soul and in my bones –
Summer is taking her shower and soon will
be in her jammies and sleeping.
autumn will awaken and begin his
royal progress throughout the land
trailing clear blue skies, deer, and golden leaves
in his wake.
The season of fireflies is past.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 15:32:58

    A wonderful poem of transition.. the way the autumn is here is captured in sounds we don’t have here… and I think a lot of things lack sound here… the basso profundo of the old bullfrog is a wonderful detail


  2. Carrie V. H.
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 16:21:40

    You have captured the change of season beautifully Toni! I love the wink of the firefly so lovely!


  3. annell4
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 16:25:24

    I love this title!! And I love your poem.


  4. wildchild47
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 17:11:09

    how rich for the sounds and textures they offer, if only we can learn to stop and listen – and autumn is so good at that (- although not as exceptional as winter’s deepest silences) ….
    I really love how you’ve managed to offer that moment, that right-in-between the last dying breath of summer and autumn’s true “coldness” – when the last of the creatures are caught, in suspended, not quite gone for the season and another one past, but still enough to make us remember – listen or strain harder – for a few more choruses – and then, how more special it is, to hear and of course see, the few left – the last of the lines standing on the stage, to close it all out.

    lovely poem Toni! rich, textured, and definitely dips us right into the silences, as well as the last calls ….


  5. wildchild47
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 17:12:01

    oops – sorry – hit the post button too fast – I meant to add: it’s Pat (just my other sign in name)


  6. Vicki
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 19:30:01

    Your description of the fading of summer is beautiful.


  7. Victoria C. Slotto
    Oct 16, 2018 @ 21:58:42

    For me, it’s the crickets. I had to pull the tomatoes this week as we are having hard freezes. I messed with my crickets. This evening I heard the very weak call of my friend (we spoke during the clearing-out process). He is still sheltered in the herbs that I cover at night. These aspects of nature need to be noticed.


    • Victoria C. Slotto
      Oct 16, 2018 @ 21:59:47

      BTW, do you have a good recipe for fried green tomatoes?!


      • kanzensakura
        Oct 16, 2018 @ 22:50:57

        Yes I do but you all don’t sell the “flour” I use. I use this for everything…tomatoes, squash, chicken, shrimp. You can make your own but it is iffy. 1 part sifted white or yellow stone ground corn meal to 5 parts self rising flour sifted together with black pepper, salt, sweet paprika, turmeric….1/4 – 1 tsp each depending on how much flour you use. Slice tomatoes and soak in buttermilk. Dredge tomatoes in plain flour and then back Iinto buttermilk and then in the mixture. Have a good 1/4 inch of hot veggie oil in heavy skillet. Carefully put slices in hot oil. Brown on one side and carefully flip. Or use House Autry Chicken Fry breader. It can be bought off Amazon. Cut slices about 1/4 inch thick. If you don’t have buttermilk, make your own. 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar added. Let sit for 10 minutes before using.

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  8. Brendan
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 04:06:50

    Summer is gone, autumn is fleeting … the fireflies are fading along with so many insect species … the transitory glory of this is bittersweet because winter will erase o much.


  9. Vivian Zems
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 04:17:35

    I love the orchestra in your garden along with the personification of the seasons. Perhaps the firefly’s Function is as a guiding light?
    I enjoyed this😊


  10. kim881
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 14:27:20

    I love the opening lines, Toni – fireflies and lengthening shadows. I wish we still had train whistles over here – I haven’t heard one in years, but they sound so melancholy they must belong to the season, and I love how it:
    ‘…moves like a slow river and pools
    on the black grass of my back yard’.


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