Thursday, October 7, 2010

i am october







My head notes lead
like a picture postcard,
in flashes of red
sugar maple, gold
shagbark hickory.

Initial impressions,
oversized, in mackerel
skies, give way to a heart
of first fires, threshing,
and winnowing.

I toss my gathering
from harvest cradle
to the breeze of gods,
like an old galosh
pulled from a pond.

Sad ellipsis, whose
black bile heightens
with time, like gypsy tears
in the steely steles
of Scioto fog.




Tess Kincaid
, 2010



So what, you're wondering, is a "Scioto"? I like to think of it as my little river. It runs alongside Willow Manor, is about 250 miles in length, and meets the Ohio River at Portsmouth. Scioto is a Native American word for "deer", pronounced sigh-OH-toe or sigh-OH-tuh. The most delicious fog rolls in off the river in October and blankets the manor in autumnal softness.



Would you like me to read it to you?





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138 comments:

  1. You just really blow me away with these. Beautiful.
    Yes, I would have asked about Scioto. It sounds so heavenly, the fog rolling in off the river - sigh.

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  2. now i'm wanting to tag along the Scioto for miles and miles, maybe with a stop over for lemonade at the manor. Just spent a morning tree gawking in our oldest city park, so love the references.

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  3. This is very evocative; splendid word choices.

    I can't believe I'm admitting to this, but I actually want it to be COLDER. Our days have been damp, but sticky and muggy. I want some of that mackerel sky . . . and the need for a fire!

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  4. oh, this , this,

    wondrous.

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  5. This is beautiful. You definitely have shown a deep appreciation of October in your poem!

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  6. Hey, I noticed art as one of your interests, I started a new art blog maybe u'll like it! Thanks and keep up great work.

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  7. I am October too but you have said it so much more beautifully. Fog rolling in off the river...lucky, lucky you!

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  8. willow i've been drawn to october women at various points in my life - my mum, my first serious girlfriend, my first wife......... i love the month and the time as it draws the deepest romance and reflectively pensive yearnings from well inside me. most truly reflected in the colours of the sky and the leaves and certainly in the v's of geese winging their way south. steven

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  9. So happy to read your poems once again, willow. I also wrote about gods in my poem, just look at http://thelunaticsdiary.blogspot.com

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  10. I like your description of fog. I like fog too.

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  11. fun word play willow...steely steles...love this time of year...and you bring it..

    looking forward to this magpie...

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  12. What is it about fog that makes so many of us enjoy it? I think it seems so calming to me to see it just floating around our farm.

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  13. I like the fog only if it lifts early enough in the day to be able to see.LOL Fog is aggravating in some cities. That I hate. Love your new header.
    QMM

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  14. Awesome. I love some autumn! Loved the part about the galosh. And fog...yep. A good one!

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  15. Wow Willow this evokes such wonderfully warm feelings. From your descriptive writing I think I would very much like your Scioto... maybe you could capture it in a photo for us... lovely writing, just lovely!

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  16. Beautiful...I am missing summer, but now I am ready to embrace autumn.

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  17. I'm glad you gave the pronunciation. It's a word that doesn't look great but sounds gorgeous.

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  18. Willow Manor must be in such a lovely setting from your description of it, Willow. Thanks for sharing--I love this one!

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  19. Willow -- Scioto -- familiar name in my family's history. How lovely to have the fog roll in and embrace you -- barbara

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  20. How you make the world a bit smaller, with the slosh of a galosh...is masterful

    Lov-el-y

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  21. Enjoyed the poem and the claim for the month. I want it too, but it’s yours.

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  22. Willow dearest,you must just have had a birthday which I have missed . . . If yes, belated Happy Birthday if not yet then all the Best for your coming year. I know you too are a Libran so I can't be far off.

    Autumn is my favourite time of year although I am thoroughly enjoying spring, my heart always aches for autumn. We too get the fogs rolling up the Murray river and our little creek at that time of year. . . Enjoy!

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  23. to the breeze of gods. What a marvelous poem

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  24. Gorgeous. "Head notes" !

    Your poetic voice has evolved over the time since I started reading you Wills. If I were more versed (pun not intended!), in the ways of poetry, I'd tell you how so. But it has.

    And I read it again just because of the postscript.

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  25. What fun to hear you read your extraordinary poem! I was just thinking today about doing a podcast, but haven't a clue how. I think I'll investigate the technology you used. I love how thin the "veil" is during the month of October. Maybe that's where how ghost stories became associated with this month! Speaking of ghosts, any apparitions of late?

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  26. Arija, thank you! You're right, my birthday is this month, but not until the 20th.

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  27. Kathleen, it is about time to tell a few ghostly manor tales, isn't it?

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  28. On second reading I didn't really worry about what was 'Scioto'. 'Steely steles of Scioto fog' is enough by itself; but I'd presumed it was a river or mountain or somesuch. Deer eh?

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  29. Oh, but to meander the banks of Scioto... through the misty air.

    Brings back wonderful memories escaping along the creeks and river of the town I lived in as a child.

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  30. I loved hearing you read it as well so can i swim in scioto? You evoke images in my mind Willow..

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  31. October indeed. Your words wrapped around me like a scarve.

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  32. Lovely words laced together as I expect from you but what a bonus to hear your voice!

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  33. I love your reading voice! Awesome. Thanks for the translation at the bottom too. What a great word, i like how you introduce me to knew ones almost every time i read your stuff.

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  34. Willow,
    Cool fog misted autumn mornings envelope our hearts and minds with comfort and solitude.
    Love hearing your voice. Nothing like a poetry reading to get the full sense of the poet's meaning!
    rel

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  35. A lovely read, and so nice to hear you read it! October is a beautiful month, I love it, and it is a month of beloved birthdays.

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  36. Such a feel of the exotic in this poem! And your tone of voice when reading captures that special, poetically sensual magnetism! Very beautiful!

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  37. This is a gorgeous and apt description of our Octobers. Lovely.

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  38. Fabulous poem. This is october.

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  39. Fantastic sounds are coming out of this poem as I say it out loud. This is a poem that is a mouth- full.I am reminded of Edna St. Vincent Millay's Counting-Out Rhyme

    Silver bark of beech, and sallow
    Bark of yellow birch and yellow
    Twig of willow.

    Stripe of green in moosewood maple,
    Colour seen in leaf of apple,
    Bark of popple.

    Wood of popple pale as moonbeam,
    Wood of oak for yoke and barn-beam,
    Wood of hornbeam.

    Silver bark of beech, and hollow
    Stem of elder, tall and yellow
    Twig of willow.

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  40. Beautiful poetry, willow. I offer a Gallic version.

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  41. lovely ode to october and such original usage of phrases and images. Lucky to have this river nearby. I know i am first in this October birthday bash: tomorrow. You and Blue Sky Dreaming too later on. Be well, Suki

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  42. You can feel the shift of seasons, and thanks for the introduction to Scioto fog..really splendid!

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  43. Beautiful poem Willow and thanks for the explanation of Scioto fog which sounds both scary and mysterious. Those ginkgo leaves could have come from my own back yard.

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  44. Jane, I took this photo last year of the leaves on the skylight. We have a huge old ginkgo here at the manor. After a particularly strong October storm, the ginkgo leaves were blown to the back of the house.

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  45. This is a perfect poem for Autumn!

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  46. Thank you for the prompt, and for the lovely poem.

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  47. Oh, so beautiful! I love that foggy pic you paint!

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  48. A lovely ode to fall, plum and mapple syrup scented.

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  49. I love Autumn and its falling leaves... but for me October is Spring time, since I'm down south.

    lovely poem.

    loveNlight
    Gabi

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  50. You ARE October. You are a Libra....coming soon :)

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  51. beautiful poem.
    you said it was a native american word, but WHICH native american word? We all speak different languages, and we are all from different tribes. Do you know which tribe this is from?
    Love this post!

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  52. Mary, I don't know for certain which tribe the word "scioto" is from. If I had to guess, I would say most likely from the Wyandots who were in this area.

    I have Native American DNA, as well. My great-great grandmother was full blood Cherokee.

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  53. I love fog over water...how everything is grey and colors hush...
    Forests here in Portugal, are monochromatic, trees sway like one to the gushes of wind and rain, it's nice and a bit sad, I would love the colors and the diversity of your forests for a change.

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  54. This is wonderful...you weave the October spell so well.
    It is my favorite month, too...even thought I was born in spring. I am much more a fall gal...love everything about it : )
    Your description of the fog sounds so comforting.

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  55. Hello Willow, I was here much earlier this morning but got sidetracked! Well, now we know; I can hear your voice carry through the fog, across the Scioto! I don't mind fog so long as I'm on the inside!

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  56. Luscious rich poetry. Wonderful.

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  57. I love the sound of this, read, which is what should be done with poetry.

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  58. So nicely done, Willow. I especially like the mackerel skies and the old galosh.

    I love fall.

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  59. love your infinite wonders in your work.
    beautiful writing.

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  60. Love your "Schioto". Now, redsugar maple and goldshagbark hickory beg to become new "lipstick" color!
    Happy October!

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  61. I can smell the Fall you have so beautifully described .... like a fine fragrance (Acqua di Parma perhaps?)

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  62. I love hearing you read your on wonderful creative poems... a great added feature on your blog, my dear! :) The Bach

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  63. previous comment...
    on = own... ;) The Bach

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  64. I adore fog, Willow! I wish I was there to see it.

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  65. That sounds cool & kinda scary - the fog rolling off the river.

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  66. I keep hearing

    >>> like an old galosh, pulled from a pond >> and I loved it even before I heard you read your words aloud, yet after hearing? I can not stop hearing in my mind...

    fantastic images. I need a manner with a fog-birthing-creek-like-river-smaller-water-space

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  67. I wish I could pick a favorite line - but I liked them all. Beautiful depiction of fall.

    I'm glad you explained Scioto. Wish I could see its fog.

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  68. I never knew "galoshes" had a singular! My husband looks like one of them, but the image suits beautifully here.

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  69. Willow, I loved hearing your voice read I am October. It was an added gift to your gift of and for words. I would like to make you something in honor of your birthday and also as a thank you for your site. Magpie Tales and Willow Manor is responsible for giving me so much. Just a small pair of earrings if you will allow me. My email is kristen.e.haskell@gmail.com

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  70. Evening Light Writer, I adore Milly and often refer to her on this blog as my dear friend, Edna St. Vee.

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  71. Oh, Kristen, how sweet of you! Of course, I've never been known to turn down a gift!

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  72. There are some really smart line breaks in here: "oversized in mackerel / skies" especially.

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  73. Fantastic! The third reading of this superbly delightful poem was your audio which added a special depth. :)

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  74. Something, extra special, willow.

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  75. What a rich poem, perfect for the deepening dark of October.

    And thanks for the new word, Scioto!!

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  76. Nice. Even better to hear it in your own voice.

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  77. What a treat to hear your lovely
    accented voice reading your poem;
    a nice adjunct to the print and
    our very active imaginations.
    Thanks for clearing up the
    "Scioto" fog; that helps, but
    other vocabulary building
    is necessary too.
    "steely steles" might be the
    core of something, like the
    central tissue in a plant,
    but it could mean monument,
    sometimes inscribed.
    But this is a grand poem,
    Tess, very Zen as reader
    and writer and season
    all commingle; and it seems
    so lyrical, almost sung,
    and you allow us to be
    happy for the colors,
    yet sad for the corpses
    and piles of things dying
    and dead, all part of the
    great plan, the inexorable
    movement of the equinox
    and the schematic throb
    of nature's fearless embrace.

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  78. For those of your magpies
    brave enough to read my entry,
    be aware there is humor
    resplendent within; though that
    is not often displayed as much
    by me as Stafford.
    Never the less, you need to know
    that "Grout" is a made up word,
    part of an old series of poems
    written and rewritten in response
    to a challenges years ago from
    Doug Palmer. I also wrote one
    with a western theme, KID GROUT,
    and one about the grout who
    lived under my porch. So do
    not hurt yourselves trying to
    find what kind of regional fish
    the grout is, for it is merely
    whimsy and whiffle, with a
    a chuckle to boot.

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  79. I like your poetry, I truly do.

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  80. I love the lonely old galosh and the steely steles. It's always refreshing to spy something colorful through the skylight, something more lively than gray skies and raindrops.

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  81. Willow,

    Knocked back by 'shagbark hickory' and 'old galosh' (marvelous)

    TFool

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  82. This is such a great image-laden poem. Shagbark hickories are becoming my favorite as I watch the one in my pasture turn the most beautiful color this week.

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  83. With "I toss my gathering from harvest cradle to the breeze of gods..." you've embraced the season and all it offers and takes away, what we reap, and that which we relinquish to life.

    Wonderful!

    Rick

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  84. High tech addition! Nice to hear you read.

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  85. I enjoyed listening to you read this! Loved the ending and the explanation that followed!

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  86. Each paragraph was perfection in itself.
    I liked how the actual names of trees grounded it.
    Loved how mackerel skies and gypsy tears give this life!

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  87. I found you via Melrose Derrick, and am so glad I looked in: the poem is just about perfect - I've been having lots of autumn thoughts, but none as beautiful as this.
    ViV

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  88. Pleasure to read.. "breeze of gods" was totally fab...

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  89. Wonderfully creative use of words, and hearing you read it made it yet better. I didn't know about the Scioto river, but used to live not far from the town of Sciota, Illinois.

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  90. Fabulous evocation of imagery--your words really draw out the scene. Sounds beautiful--the gifts autumn brings are not to be unappreciated!

    Nice little info on your Scioto as well. Sounds delightful.

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  91. I'm drawn to a beautiful fog myself. The area where I live is prone to early evening mists that rise in the lowlands. They are beautiful, especially in the spring. In the fall we have the early morning variety.

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  92. I love the naming of specific trees and the other details woven into the poem that create a very clear image of a place. Beautiful.

    And thanks for stopping by with your comment as well. I'm looking forward to participating in more magpies!

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  93. Wow Willow you have such a lovely reading voice...it goes well with your poetic words! :-)

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  94. I so enjoyed hearing you read your beautiful words - thank you Willow. October is my birth month and my favorite of the year.

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  95. I love foggy weather. The clouds just cover everything and soften them at the same time. Great poem for Autumn. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've started another. How do you have the time to do so many?

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  96. Beautiful voice...you don't fool me one bit...that's a Hoosier Twang and you know it. ;)

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  97. I know. I still have an ever-so-slight Hoosier twang. I need Henry Higgins to help rid me of it!

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  98. What a luxury to have you read it! I love it! There should really be blogs-on-tape. Life at Willow Manor, Read by Willow.

    Although I don't imagine one can really get away with reading one's prose - by turns serious, languid, punchy, casual - with the Poem Voice.

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  99. i love the new thingie that let's me hear you read you poetry.

    love love love it!!!
    xxx

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  100. Lovely poem! I could picture you fishing in a quiet pond... crisp breeze, cold water and all! thanks for the prompt!

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  101. excellent use of words ! Loved it !

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  102. excellent use of words ! Loved it !

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  103. Oh, I love having it read aloud. It gives your true intentions of the way it must flow.

    The beautiful Scioto River. Love it.

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  104. A many-layered poem that works extremely well and offers more with each re-reading. I think it is a poem of which one would never tire.

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  105. I can easily see why Autumn is your favourite season......!

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  106. Thanks for telling what Scioto is, I was just about to crack open the dictionary! I love the imagery you have created.

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  107. I love, love love the mackerel skies. Stunning in every way. I can see that sky. I can smell it. If it were to rain I could taste it. Oh, yeah!!

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  108. We have fog here tonight. And a fire blazing.
    Your words are so evocative, Willow.

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  109. yes - this is october!!
    what wonderful words - makes me feel like i'm october myself..

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  110. Its raining like it should here in the southern hemi. We're drowning.
    Loved the "mackeral skies" and "like an old galosh pulled from a pond". Lovely stuff.

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  111. Willow, I have read this several times. You have such a magical way with words. I love the way you write and what seems like painstaking word selection made simple by you. Nice Mag...Love and Light, Sender

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  112. magical, that just about describes your poetry, Willow! :)

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  113. This captures my ambivalence about the season -- nicely evocative.

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  114. Lovely reading, lovely poem. Love the Scioto fog (and thank you for the explanation)and "sad ellipsis." Poor October to be that kind of link.

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  115. you have such a way with words. Another great poem. Now, I've seen his picture before, right? OF some similar take from the same shoot perhaps, right? Wonerful.

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  116. There is so much to savour in this poem Willow. I really like the imagery of the mackerel skies...

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  117. I really like this poem and the sense of place you convey.

    FYI, the link you gave at the Poetry Potluck has too much http at the beginning. I had to change it in the browser bar to get here. You might want to try editing the link you gave.

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  118. Thanks for the heads up, Morganna. I'll correct that link asap!

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  119. Thanks for linking up with us.
    Happy Monday!
    u rock!

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  120. Exquisite poetry and blog. Glad I found you on the potluck site.

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  121. your poem was wonderful and your little Scioto sounds quite charming.

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  122. Dear Willow,

    Exquisite, indeed. I seriously love this.

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  123. I can see and feel that fog rolling in. Lovely Magpie.

    HERE IS MINE

    PG

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  124. My favorite month so beautifully expressed.

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  125. Beautiful poem...you are truly October. Thanks for linking with Potluck :)

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  126. Forgive me for commenting so late...but I had to stop and tell you how hearing this in your own voice just blew me away!

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  127. It was a delight to hear you read your poetry, as well as reading the descriptive capture of October in the Ohio Valley, it blended the historian nature of what I image the Native Americans must have felt standing there as you do now watching the fog roll in.

    Cheers,
    Joanny

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  128. I am only now getting around to reading last week's Magpies... and my you are prolific in your writing, as it took a lot of hunting to find yours :) So worth the hunt, too, and wow to hear you read it...that is really special.

    (I am not even looking at newer Magpies until I catch up reading other #35s, and it is killing me!)

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  129. Tess, it says there are already 137 comments made, thus, i'm certain everything that needed to be said has already been ... still, i love the sonics in this one ... i first read it without reading the title ... it really was wide open that way ... beautiful.

    noxy.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)