Posted on Poetry United, Pantry of Prose and Poetry #3  For me, a long poem.


Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.” ― Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

it is cool, finally.
The hot breath of summer has stilled,
fallen into the arms of Morpheus
seeking there the river of Lethe.
*Ameles Potamos is sluggish
and yet it is crowded with the souls
of the dead leaves,
all of them drinking to
forget the summer that was.
the leaves clog the creek
at the foot of the hill,
drinking, drinking.
autumn rains will come and flood the banks
washing their corpses away.
frost covers them with sparking lace
dressing them for their funereal best.
I cup my hand and drink from the icy waters.
I close my eyes and sleep.
I awaken no longer remembering the heat of summer.
I awaken remembering only autumn and winter cold.
The beaver moon shines bright in the sky,
frost sparkles in its light.


*Lethe also known as the Ameles Potamos (River of Unmindfulness), the river flowed around the cave of Hypnos where its murmuring induces drowsiness. The shades of the dead were required to drink from its water in order to forget their earthly life.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 15:23:45

    I think that I would love to hibernate… wonder how I can sip that water…


  2. Sherry Marr
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 17:12:54

    It’s true. As soon as one season is here, we forget the last. This is a mesmerizing read, Toni. I enjoyed it.


  3. sanaarizvi
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 17:31:02

    The beaver moon is no doubt beautiful tonight! ❤️ Love the tenderness of this poem, Toni!


  4. Mary
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 17:33:03

    This poem is very evocative of the season!


  5. H. Hennenburg
    Nov 10, 2019 @ 19:41:16

    Wow! This is truly spectacular, Toni. A journey into death’s forgetting. I love the idea of the leaves’ drunken amnesia – the creek their intoxicant, and yours. So absorbing. Thank you!


  6. magicalmysticalteacher
    Nov 11, 2019 @ 10:44:12

    What a relief to wake up, no longer remembering the thing(s) that plagued and troubled us!


  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Nov 11, 2019 @ 20:18:29

    Those sensual images are almost tangible!

    I like the heat – but just now it’s our turn, here, to have too much of it; your scenario sounds enticing.


  8. Magaly Guerrero
    Nov 11, 2019 @ 20:56:01

    The image of frost as a lacy shroud for fallen leaves is so vivid. I don’t usually like to venture out when it’s too cold, but I think the imagery brewed by you poem might send me out when the leaves get dusty with winter. I think I want to take pictures.


  9. Audrey M Howitt
    Nov 14, 2019 @ 11:20:26

    This is so beautifully done–I love the leaves and their small deeaths


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