HD 2019 - Issue 15

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Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 1

Halcyon Days—<strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong><br />

Founder | Monique Berry | Hamilton On Canada<br />

Contributors<br />

Mary Bone<br />

4 Wild Mare<br />

5 Saudade<br />

17 Night Lights<br />

Stella Mazur Preda<br />

6 In the Shadow of Summer<br />

7 The Coven<br />

Andrei Fendley<br />

8 The Changes of the Forest<br />

R. Gerry Fabian<br />

9 Permanent Marker<br />

Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

10 Contrast<br />

11 Cottage Haiku<br />

11 Cottage Haiku<br />

James Swafford<br />

12 El Malpais, New Mexico<br />

Emily Bilman<br />

13 Triassic Gifts<br />

Phil Huffy<br />

14 October<br />

<strong>15</strong> In November<br />

Ingrid Bruck<br />

16 Texas Storm<br />

22 Late Fall Evening<br />

Robert Funderburk<br />

18 Beyond Seasons<br />

Mary Gaylord<br />

19 Orchestra of Leaves<br />

Sharon Frame Gay<br />

20 The Seasons<br />

Steven Tutino<br />

23 Autumn<br />

Emily Bilman<br />

Pg 13<br />

James Swafford<br />

Pg 12<br />

Robert Funderburk<br />

Pg 18<br />

Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

Pg 10, 11<br />

Mary Bone<br />

Pg 4, 5, 17<br />

Sharon Frame Gay<br />

Pg 20<br />

Ingrid Bruck<br />

Pg 16, 22<br />

Phil Huffy<br />

Pg 14, <strong>15</strong><br />

Stella Mazur Preda<br />

Pg 6, 7<br />

Cover | Bereta—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days Magazine<br />

ISSN: 2291-0255<br />

Frequency: Quarterly<br />

Publisher | Designer: Monique Berry<br />

Contact Info<br />

http://halcyondaysmagazine.blogspot.ca<br />

Twitter: @1websurfer<br />

monique.editor@gmail.com<br />

Special Notices<br />

Halcyon Days has one time rights.<br />

See website for subscription details.<br />

No photocopies allowed.<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 2

Contributor Bios<br />

Andrei Fendley is a student in engineering. He writes poetry in his spare time especially about nature. He began writing poetry when he<br />

began his college career.<br />

Emily Bilman teaches poetry in Geneva, CH. Her dissertation, The Psychodynamics of Poetry: Poetic Virtuality and Oedipal Sublimation<br />

in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry was published by Lambert Academic in 2010 and Modern Ekphrasis in 2013 by Peter Lang. Her<br />

poetry books, A Woman By A Well (20<strong>15</strong>), Resilience (20<strong>15</strong>), and The Threshold of Broken Waters (2018) were published by Troubador, UK.<br />

Poems were published in The London Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Offshoots, San Antonio Review, Expanded Field, Hunger Mountain,<br />

Poetics Research, etc. She blogs on http://www.emiliebilman.wix.com/emily-bilman<br />

Gaiyle J. Connolly, a poet and artist from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has numerous publications to her credit, some of them prizewinning.<br />

They appear in local and international periodicals and journals. Her collection of poetry, Lifelines, which she also illustrated, was<br />

published in 20<strong>15</strong>. She is Past President of the Tower Poetry Society in Hamilton and has been active in poetry groups in Mexico. She is<br />

working on her second book of poetry for which once again she will provide illustrations. As a change of pace, she is trying her hand at short<br />

story writing inspired by her childhood years spent in rural Quebec.<br />

Ingrid Bruck writes poetry, grows wildflowers and makes jam. Finding Stella Maris, her debut chapbook, was released this year. Her poem,<br />

Flying, was nominated for <strong>2019</strong> Best of the Net. Current work appears in Otata, Failed Haiku, Halcyon Days, Red Fez, Communicator’s League and<br />

Leaves of Ink. Poetry website: www.ingridbruck.com<br />

James Swafford has recently begun writing poetry after retiring from a long career teaching literature at Ithaca College in New York. Born<br />

in Kansas, he is now a permanent resident of Canada, living in Toronto.<br />

Mary Bone has been writing poetry and short stories since the age of twelve. Her poems have been published at Oklahoma Today Magazine,<br />

Vita Brevis Press, Family Friend Poems, Literary Librarian, Spillwords, Literary Yard, Best Poetry Website and other places. Mary enjoys<br />

drawing and painting in her spare time.<br />

Mary Gaylord is a librarian in Indiana who seeks to uplift readers through poetry. Her poetry has recently been published in Castabout<br />

Literature.<br />

Phil Huffy had a long career doing something else. Now he writes early and often at his kitchen table in upstate NY. His work has been<br />

frequently published, with pieces recently accepted by The Lyric, Schuykill Valley Journal, Gravel and Fourth & Sycamore.<br />

R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. His web page<br />

is https://rgerryfabian.wordpress.com. He is the editor of Raw Dog Press https://rawdogpress.wordpress.com and has published two books of<br />

his published poems, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic.. His novels, Memphis Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh<br />

Sense. They are available at all ebook publishers including Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and Noble.<br />

Robert Funderburk was born by coal oil lamplight in a tin-roofed farmhouse near Liberty, MS. He is an LSU graduate (1965), and a<br />

SSgt USAFR (1965-1971). He has had 16 poems accepted by literary magazines, 5 published thus far. One short story accepted by Blue Moon<br />

Literary and Art Review. He lives with his wife, Barbara, on 50 acres of river wilderness in Olive Branch, LA.<br />

Sharon Frame Gay grew up a child of the highway, playing by the side of the road. Her work has been internationally published in<br />

anthologies and literary magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Fiction on the Web, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thrice Fiction,<br />

Crannog, Saddlebag Dispatches and others. Her work has won prizes at Women on Writing, Rope and Wire Magazine, The Writing District and<br />

Owl Hollow Press. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. More information can be found on Amazon @ https://<br />

www.amazon.com/-/e/B01HN5AGXK Facebook: Sharon Frame Gay-Writer. Twitter: sharonframegay<br />

Stella Mazur Preda is a resident of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada and is the owner and publisher of Serengeti Press, a small press<br />

publishing company, located in the Hamilton area. Since its opening in 2003, Serengeti Press has published 43 Canadian books. Serengeti Press<br />

is now temporarily on hiatus. Stella Mazur Preda has been published in numerous Canadian anthologies and some US, most notably the<br />

purchase of her poem My Mother’s Kitchen by Penguin Books, New York. She is a current member of Tower Poetry Society in Hamilton,<br />

Ontario and The Ontario Poetry Society.<br />

Steven Tutino is currently a graduate student at Concordia University in the process of completing an M.A. in Theological Studies.<br />

He obtained a double major from Concordia as well in Honours English Literature and Theological Studies His poetry has appeared in<br />

Concordia University’s Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, The Paragon Journal and Halcyon Days. His artwork has appeared in<br />

Word in the World, The Paragon Journal, The Minetta Review, Beautiful Minds Magazine, GFT Press: Ground Fresh Thursday, Michael<br />

Jacobson's The New-Post Literate, The Omnicult, November Bees: Journal of art and literature, Inside the Bell Jar, and Hour After Happy Hour<br />

Review. Steven currently resides in Montreal, Quebec.<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 3

Wild Mare<br />

By Mary Bone<br />

A wild mare<br />

galloped along,<br />

her long mane was flowing<br />

in the breeze.<br />

Autumn leaves rustled<br />

around her.<br />

The surroundings<br />

were a picturesque<br />

backdrop as the sun<br />

went down.<br />

Ainslie—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 4

Saudade<br />

By Mary Bone<br />

The love that remains<br />

peaceful thoughts in the twilight<br />

nostalgic feelings<br />

Юлия Колмогорцева—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 5

The Coven<br />

by Stella Mazur Preda<br />

a hallowed sanctum in a secluded wood<br />

a gathering of the poets’ coven<br />

incantations of poetics herald<br />

the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox<br />

we rejoice in the celestial changes<br />

taste fruits of the autumn harvest<br />

elicit pleasures of the Muse<br />

with offerings of literary delights<br />

a Hunter’s Moon will soon follow<br />

define halcyon days of Indian summer<br />

an unrelenting euphoria too soon<br />

obliterated by the winter solstice<br />

dina—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 6

In the Shadow of Summer<br />

by Stella Mazur Preda<br />

succulent berries bushes now bare<br />

plums and crisp apples take centre stage<br />

cornstalks resplendent in golden silk<br />

welcome the harvest season<br />

monarch butterflies swarm prepare for migration<br />

chainsaws echo across fields<br />

trees felled branches stripped logs sized<br />

in preparation for winter warmth<br />

in the kitchen preserves are bottled<br />

delicacies of summer<br />

sweeten bitter winter days<br />

eskstock—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 7

The Changes of the Forest<br />

By Andrei Fendley<br />

I once saw the tree beautifully green<br />

But today it is the color of a bean<br />

I saw a squirrel obtain its nuts<br />

While the villagers warm their huts<br />

I saw a squad of geese flying south<br />

Each honking gleefully by mouth<br />

A leaf on the ground<br />

Tells us of fall is coming around<br />

A forest once so bright<br />

Turns golden while the air gives a chilly bite<br />

red<strong>15</strong>0770—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 8

Permanent Marker<br />

R. Gerry Fabian<br />

Morning breaks slowly<br />

like a spaniel stalking<br />

a plump cottontail.<br />

An aroma of coffee<br />

creeps up the stairs.<br />

The thud of the paper<br />

on the porch confirms<br />

the hour.<br />

You reach over and<br />

intertwine your fingers<br />

in mine.<br />

My tongue slides<br />

across my dry lips<br />

reliving<br />

the cherry gloss kisses<br />

that cause my heart<br />

to beat with effulgence<br />

some twenty years later.<br />

Sue Colvil—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 9

Contrast<br />

By Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

Delicate<br />

Queen Anne’s Lace<br />

reigns out of place<br />

crowning<br />

common railway tracks.<br />

One sways<br />

the other is still.<br />

Though different in station<br />

both gleam compatible<br />

in linear design<br />

for their subjects to behold.<br />

c | Reimar—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 10

Cottage Haiku<br />

By Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

In bed listening<br />

to rain on the old tin roof<br />

I’m a child again.<br />

c | schankz—stock.adobe.com<br />

Cottage Haiku<br />

By Gaiyle J. Connolly<br />

Til the old stove glows<br />

huddle under the blankets<br />

the wood sweet-smelling.<br />

c | Victoria Nefedova—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 11

El Malpaís, New Mexico<br />

By James Swafford<br />

Conquistadors called it badland, maybe because<br />

it couldn’t be ranched or dug for gold, or maybe<br />

(though I doubt it) as a trick, like calling Iceland<br />

Iceland, to ward off those who would love it if they came.<br />

The great lava flows, layers on layers, the newest<br />

after three thousand years still black with the fire<br />

that birthed it: bad land for exploiting, good for<br />

thinking beyond frills and fripperies, for meditating<br />

the long slow cycles of earth, of fire and ice,<br />

the inexhaustible work of plants, the secret spaces<br />

of caves, the sweep of air and depth of sky,<br />

the motions of unseen lives that stir scrub juniper<br />

and Apache plume, all things great and small,<br />

unconquered and essential.<br />

c traveller70—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 12

Triassic Gifts<br />

By Emily Bilman<br />

The warm water feels like baptism<br />

On my body as I immerse myself<br />

Into the weight of water charged<br />

With iron, copper, calcium, salt<br />

And fluoride, the mountain’s<br />

Triassic gifts that loosen and relax<br />

My muscles like striated mango-flesh.<br />

I exercise my legs, counting to ten –<br />

Twenty – thirty – forty – then, begin<br />

Swimming back and forth and back again<br />

Towards the long glass windows<br />

Disclosing a congregation of chamois.<br />

I, then, see the snow-capped slopes<br />

Through the large windows and a closer look<br />

Disclose huge pine cones trailing on the tall<br />

Tenebrous larches like the breasts of abundance.<br />

The next morning, a howling icy wind spiraled<br />

Hail and snow on the windows, swirling the snow<br />

From the rooftops, bending the tall pines.<br />

JUAN CARLOS MUNOZ—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 13

October<br />

By Phil Huffy<br />

Again sweet summer has to go,<br />

her song is nearly through,<br />

as fall stands ready in the wings<br />

just waiting for his cue.<br />

This transformation we expect<br />

indeed, it’s bittersweet;<br />

we’ll watch in peace as leaves collect<br />

or cartwheel down the street.<br />

C Lamplightersdv—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 14

In November<br />

By Phil Huffy<br />

The poet who would speak of fall<br />

and bid the other seasons wait<br />

may in her thoughts and voice recall<br />

fine vistas then to celebrate,<br />

for multitudes of forest views<br />

grow keener with each passing day<br />

and far off things her gaze pursues<br />

are offered in a bold array.<br />

Down by the pond below the hill<br />

near silver maples now undressed<br />

a doe may stand and drink her fill,<br />

enjoying there a moment’s rest,<br />

and through bare boughs descends a glow,<br />

direct and brilliant in its flight,<br />

revealing to the ground below<br />

a wave of golden autumn light.<br />

Such things the poet may advise<br />

to bring us to her special place<br />

and life seen through poetic eyes<br />

may well be worthy of our grace.<br />

Erin Cardigan—stock. adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | <strong>15</strong>

Texas Storm<br />

By Ingrid Bruck<br />

lightning ignites fourth of July fireworks<br />

over prairie and highway,<br />

thunder rumples and roars in September<br />

light trails flicker from tree to tree in the sky forest<br />

ripples zip branch to branch and down a tree trunk<br />

bolts explode on rolling grasslands in the plains<br />

oil derrick skeletons indifferent keep pumping<br />

while overhead a foil net crackles,<br />

flows and surges to ground<br />

we’ve driven ten hours from Four Corners,<br />

four more to go to reach Dallas<br />

clouds open, torrents pour<br />

sheet lightning stretches for miles<br />

the windshield wipers work double time<br />

we slow down to keep control of the car<br />

a sports car zips by in a hurry,<br />

slips and spins out in front of us<br />

my husband yanks our car two lanes over<br />

we swerve and avoid a collision<br />

the other car settles catty-wampus and broadside<br />

we toddle past,<br />

take the slow way home<br />

and enjoy a vast light show<br />

IgorZh—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 16

Night Lights<br />

By Mary Bone<br />

Morning stars above<br />

twinkle and glitter all around<br />

wonderful night lights.<br />

Yuriy Mazur—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 17

Beyond Seasons<br />

by Robert Funderburk<br />

The leaves of autumn’s<br />

frosty winds,<br />

red and gold and rust,<br />

draw more beauty<br />

from death<br />

than sunlight<br />

and gentle rain<br />

on summer trees<br />

could ever offer.<br />

And this solitary pilgrim,<br />

captured by autumn’s<br />

blaze of color, when<br />

he takes his final<br />

woodland walk,<br />

what then?<br />

He lifts from this<br />

tabernacle of<br />

of earthly shadow,<br />

this life of vapor<br />

and dust, to live<br />

beyond the stars<br />

and shine in the endless<br />

fields of Heaven.<br />

371865—Pixabay.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 18

Orchestra of Leaves<br />

By Mary Gaylord<br />

Listen<br />

to how autumn trees sing<br />

each grove a band, with its own tune<br />

as leaves flutter<br />

with Fall winds<br />

each breeze, a composition<br />

each note, a different tone<br />

each song unique, a thousand leaves<br />

color harmony, full<br />

blown<br />

while skies may darken<br />

and lightening dance<br />

a thunder song<br />

drums in,<br />

yet each tree<br />

still plays<br />

its charming chord<br />

while earth, on axis spins<br />

every day, a new orchestra<br />

leaves and wind, swing-time,<br />

whilst nature, the conductor<br />

lifts high<br />

a leafy chime<br />

c | rolffimages—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 19

Seasons<br />

By Sharon Frame Gay<br />

"T he seasons, they just go by," thought Marian as<br />

she looked at her yard lined with leaves in<br />

brilliant oranges and reds.<br />

"Now, how will I ever rake them up?" She sighed, then<br />

walked back to her chair near the fireplace.<br />

Marian was 85 years old and lived alone. Her elderly<br />

cat, Stewie, died last year. Marian was lonely without<br />

him, but at her age there was a chance that she might<br />

sicken and die. Her pet would have to find a new home<br />

without her. Just the thought made her sad.<br />

Every winter, the neighbors shoveled her sidewalk, a<br />

wonderful time that Marian looked forward to each year.<br />

She scurried around making hot cider, brought out cookies<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 20<br />

IgorZh—stock.adobe.com<br />

that she had baked and put in the freezer at the first hint of<br />

snow. She'd invite them all in and feed them, enjoying the<br />

voices in her hallway, people in her kitchen.<br />

This year, it was different. The neighborhood had<br />

changed. Familiar families had moved away. Children had<br />

grown. People were transferred. Now all that was left<br />

were faces she didn't recognize. People from foreign<br />

countries. India. China. Mexico. Not a one stopped in to<br />

see how she was doing. If by chance she was sitting on<br />

her front porch, they scurried by with nary a wave.<br />

"I'll bet they've never even seen snow, much less know<br />

how to shovel it," she mused as the leaves hurled<br />

themselves to the ground. Yesterday when she walked to<br />

the mailbox, there was a nip in the air. The sky looked<br />

like snow.<br />

(Continued on page 21)

Her son John lived far away in California. He tried to<br />

convince her to move closer, but she resisted. This was the<br />

home where she raised him, the house that weathered all<br />

the storms that come with marriage, a child, a lifetime.<br />

Why, right there on the wall was a tiny mark from the last<br />

time she had measured John. He was six feet tall. Eighteen<br />

years old. Now he shuffled along in his cardigan sweaters,<br />

balding head bowed as he walked. Had it been that many<br />

years since the wall had been painted? She shook her<br />

head, glanced away.<br />

That night the wind howled down the chimney. The<br />

house groaned, as though it were trembling with concern<br />

over the coming winter. Cold rain lashed at the windows,<br />

and boards creaked like voices from long ago.<br />

The next morning, there was frost on the windows,<br />

dusting the rooftops and the streets. Marian worried that<br />

the food she ordered from the local grocer might not be<br />

delivered today. There were only crusts left in a bag of<br />

bread in her pantry. She ate them with jam, and sat at the<br />

kitchen window, watching menacing clouds scud by.<br />

There was a knock on the door. Marian shuffled down<br />

the hall, asked "who's there?"<br />

"Your neighbor, Mira", said a voice in a lilting accent.<br />

Marian opened the door and gazed into the face of a<br />

woman she had seen countless times driving up and down<br />

the street. She had small children, Marian knew, tiny faces<br />

peering out the window as the car sped by.<br />

"Mrs. Curtis?"<br />

"Call me Marian".<br />

"Marian, then. I think I received some of your mail by<br />

accident." She held out several envelopes, placed them in<br />

Marian's hands.<br />

"Well, thank you very much. Might you come in for a<br />

while?"<br />

"Oh no, thank you. I have to go." Mira smiled and<br />

backed away, walked to the end of the porch, then stopped<br />

and looked back.<br />

"If you need anything, Marian", her voice hesitated.<br />

"Anything at all, please call on me." She rubbed her hands<br />

together, smiled nervously. "It's so cold today!"<br />

"Is it cold where you come from?"<br />

Mira glanced around shyly, pulled her scarf closer<br />

about her head. "No, it's warm where I used to live. This<br />

is all so different." Her voice trailed off, and she looked<br />

sad.<br />

"It seems like there's a lot of new folks around here,"<br />

Marian said, shifted from one foot to another.<br />

"Yes, I suppose there is. Lots of new things to learn."<br />

Mira smiled again, took a step back, folded her hands in<br />

front of her. "Well, goodbye now."<br />

"Goodbye, Mira."<br />

That afternoon Marian had an idea. She brought out<br />

the cookbook, searched through the recipes, started<br />

baking. The house soon filled with the aroma of vanilla<br />

and chocolate. Later, she walked to her mailbox with<br />

several letters, tossed them in and raised the flag for pick<br />

up.<br />

One week later, there was a knock on the door. When<br />

Marian opened it, six women stood on the porch, all with<br />

an envelope in her hand.<br />

"Come in, everyone" Marian smiled. She stepped aside<br />

as they entered the house. Her neighbors sat in the living<br />

room and visited for hours. Each one was new to the area,<br />

had no idea what to expect, and had a difficult time<br />

speaking English. Marian filled them in on the weather,<br />

the town, where to buy the best vegetables, the finest cuts<br />

of meats. They all had such a wonderful time that they<br />

decided to do it again the next week. And the next.<br />

One day, right before Christmas, Mira came down the<br />

walk with a basket on her arm. She smiled at Marian and<br />

asked "may I come in?"<br />

"Of course."<br />

"My cat had a litter in October. They have all found<br />

good homes. I have one kitten left." She pulled a small<br />

gray kitten out of the basket, set it on the floor. The cat<br />

looked up at Marian with green eyes, it's tiny face so cute<br />

that Marian just had to pick her up, hold it to her neck.<br />

"She's yours if you want her," grinned Mira.<br />

Marian hesitated, swallowed. She felt the cat's<br />

heartbeat against her chest, her hand cupped it's little head.<br />

"Oh honey, I would love to, but I can't. What if<br />

something happens to me? What would the kitty do then?"<br />

Mira touched Marian's arm gently. "I will promise<br />

you, my friend. No matter where we are - no matter where<br />

you go, or where I may move....I will always give your<br />

kitten a home with me, should you ever find that need."<br />

Marian cried, held the cat closer.<br />

"Yes! I would love her!"<br />

Now Marian sat with the kitten in her lap, looking out<br />

at her driveway. Neighbors had gathered with shovels and<br />

snow blowers, new faces outside her window, laughing<br />

and working in the freshly fallen snow.<br />

In the kitchen were the wives, warming the cider and<br />

arranging cookies on trays, speaking in so many beautiful<br />

accents.<br />

"Ah, the seasons, " Marian thought, "They just go by."<br />

Then she set the kitten down and walked into the kitchen<br />

to join her friends.<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 21

Late Fall Evening<br />

By Ingrid Bruck<br />

blackbirds land<br />

in bare trees<br />

the chirping brightens<br />

the leafless woods<br />

wind stirs the chimes<br />

falling rain freezes<br />

the sidewalk glazes<br />

slush coats weeds<br />

fireplace crackle sends<br />

blue smoke curls up the chimney<br />

I smell the wood smoke<br />

and follow it home<br />

oktay—stock.adobe.com<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 22

ankdesign—stock.adobe.com<br />

Autumn<br />

By Steven Tutino<br />

I<br />

n Autumn, I ponder with delight the thought of<br />

creamy maple syrup butter melted on toasted bread. A<br />

lick or two before the first bite. “What are you<br />

doing?” my sister askes in perplexity. “I like the taste<br />

of melted maple syrup butter,” I tell her. “Besides, its<br />

autumn.”<br />

I dream in colour and imagine walking through a forest<br />

of leaves with a dear friend, a lover, someone close to my<br />

heart. Autumn rain and tree branches devoid of colour, as<br />

the leaves, once so green, descend down to their new abode<br />

like Persephone going down to rule the underworld.<br />

Autumn is symbolic of meaning, filled with a sense of loss<br />

yet the realization that with loss comes great potential and<br />

eventual renewal. Autumn is about intimacy and solace and<br />

seeking pleasure in the warmth which comes from<br />

harvesting tomatoes and peppers and the love, its scent of<br />

cinnamon and pumpkin pie and all my old autumn loves. In<br />

Autumn, I say farewell to my grandmother’s garden and her<br />

once cherished fig tree now buried underneath the earth.<br />

She tells me the descent into the hardness of earth is the<br />

promise of fresh new growth. I remember walking through<br />

Indian summer one Friday afternoon after school and<br />

imagining an abundance of golden coins falling from the<br />

sky like a miracle God had sent into my grandmother’s<br />

house, her kitchen table like a display in a museum<br />

showcasing the diversity and richness of Scilian culture:<br />

home-made sausage, stir-fried potatoes and onions, sliced<br />

red peppers and eggplants stored in bottles of fresh extra<br />

virgin olive oil, jars of oil cured olives, both black and<br />

green (even cured, the saltiness is sill there), blood oranges<br />

and the trippa and ricotta. And the basil is stored, made into<br />

pesto. The arancini overflow with mozzarella. I remember<br />

our extended family gathering together each year at my<br />

grandmother’s house, turning fifteen bushels of tomatoes<br />

into fresh tomato sauce, stored in jars, dispersed to<br />

neighbours and friends. “Do you think we should make the<br />

tomato sauce this year? I’m not feeling it anymore…” Each<br />

year she tells me the same thing. But then she just can’t<br />

help herself. We can’t help ourselves…<br />

There is something decadent about picking grapes from<br />

the vine tree in Indian summer, where the sun descends<br />

down like an intangible dream and fills the world with a<br />

golden amber so rich and pure like maple syrup. In autumn,<br />

the forgotten leaves of summer speak for themselves and in<br />

the rain, my thoughts and feelings are most sacred. In<br />

autumn, I wander lonely in my thoughts through golden<br />

fields of lost summer loves and wonder where my love<br />

went. There is something about autumn which enriches my<br />

consciousness and being. In Autumn, I take solace in<br />

opening up the Bible to any random page and finding<br />

comfort in the love which God sent. Walking through<br />

autumn together with you is no mere dream. I yearn for<br />

pumpkin spice and my warm winter scarf, because autumn<br />

is a reminder of the power of goodbye.<br />

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 23

Halcyon Days - <strong>2019</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>15</strong> | 24

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