It’s Fall, Y’all!  

Autumn is here and I’m swathed in a sweater,
A snug fluffy scarf and warm mittens.
My Ugg-cuddled feet have never felt better;
These boots are as cute as soft kittens.

Autumn is here and it’s chocolate I’m sipping
With melted marshmallows galore.
Pumpkin-spice candles are glowing and flickering,
But PHEW… when I open my door…

Autumn is here and the temperature’s soaring;
Cicadas still screech in the trees.
Leaves are spring-green and the fierce sun is roaring;
I wilt in the sweltering breeze.

Autumn is here and the heat greets and beats me.
My woolens are hurled on the deck.
Never mind cocoa, toss ice in my sweet tea
And rub some sunscreen on my neck!

Autumn is here yet I feel Summer simmer;
She mocks me from sizzling skies—
The chance of an autumn in Texas is slimmer
Than hairs on a butterfly’s thighs.



Lady Marmalade

My blaze phase is here and I cheer at the fact that I’m orange.
____I’m orange and proud and I shout it aloud through the blue.
I used to be green and then aquamarine, now I’m orange.
____I’m orange and blessed with a citrusy zest and gold hue.

I faded to grey every glum umber day, now I’m orange.
____I’m orange and shine as I dance on cloud nine in the rain.
My feet pirouette as the puddles reflect flares of orange.
____I’m orange and glow as I tango past indigo pain.

At times I would sink into blushing-cheek pink. Now I’m orange.
____I’m orange and hot in cool mango and apricot chic.
I’m sassy and flashy with juicy-fruit beauty in orange—
____A tangerine mama whose manner will never be meek.

I went through a stage of bland buff and drab beige, now I’m orange.
____Dull dun holds no fun for one under Sol’s clementine spell.
Now inside and out there’s no shadow of doubt I am orange.
____I shimmer like trees in the titian-kissed leas where I dwell.

So long to dire days in a drear purple haze, I am orange.
____A lavender life is too yawningly boring by far.
What soul wants to rove in magenta and mauve when she’s orange?
____I’m making a splash with my peachy panache. I’m a star!



Susan Jarvis Bryant is from Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).

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20 Responses

  1. lionel willis

    Susan: Your poems delighted me. Thank you for taking the time and care to celebrate everyday life so skillfully. One almost forgets what immense care it takes, which is the mark of a master.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Lionel, thank you so very much for your kind comment. I am an avid fan of our beautiful planet and often immerse myself in its wonder – I believe it has great healing properties, especially where the soul is concerned.

  2. Sally Cook

    The hairs on a butterfly’s thighs, indeed ! I had never even considered that they had thighs, let alone hairs on them.
    And the “orange” poem! After reading your poem, all silly people who are obsessed with skin color will have to re-think their silly premise. There is nothing at all negative to be said about orange !
    It is not black, brown, or white. Orange men and women are as good as anyone.
    On with the Orange !!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Dearest Sally, your comment has me grinning… I was hoping my two rather fun poems would result in a smile. I’ve become a little too serious of late. Sometimes, it pays to switch off from the woes of the world and afford a little poetic gratitude instead. You are a great inspiration on that front, my friend.

  3. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, these are just so wonderful to read. We’re also having a good fall over here as I inspect the legs of our native butterflies for hairs. I was humming that great, very suggestive Labelle song as I read Lady Marmalade. Thank you for the perfect antidote to our bloody depressing news today.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, thank you very much for your smile of a comment. I am glad to hear it’s taken your mind off the depressing British news. I usually read US and UK news and have got myself into a rut of despair… I’ve decided to turn my back on the news for a while and concentrate on other important aspects of life… before I go insane. LOL

  4. Russel Winick

    Susan – thanks for two more of your delightful poems. You think of such amazing rhyming lines! And like Sally, I was wondering about a deeper meaning in the “orange poem.” Great stuff!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Russel, thank you very much – I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed the poems. Brian, in his comment below, has hit the nail on the head with ‘Lady Marmalade’. I am at the orange stage and age in my autumn years and I’m owning the orange status with poetic aplomb.

  5. Brian Yapko

    Susan, I’m delighted that you have come to embrace your oranginity — orangeness — how about oranginality! Lady Marmalade (which, for me, conjures fun images of Paddington as a marmalade-obsessed teddy bear) is a hilarious frolic through the crayon box and I adore it. But what is especially great about this poem is the underlying serious sense of journey of someone finding their true selves and then absolutely owning it. I don’t know how deeply to dig into the symbolism here, but I can say with absolute certainty that you are indeed a star!

    As for your “It’s Fall, Y’all” poem — I relate to every word. I moved from Michigan to Los Angeles when I was 13 and for decades afterwards missed the cool, apple-crisp, honey-hued autumns of my youth. Your comic poem skillfully captures the rather unreasonable expectation of hoping for a white Christmas in Honolulu, or a surfing holiday in Anchorage — or to go see Fall colors in south Texas. My years in L.A. made me forget that trees change color and that Halloween sends chilly breezes down one’s spine. After all those years, I’m grateful to now live in a place where the aspens and cottonwoods shimmer with gorgeous gold and promise snow in the not-too-distant future. I’m glad that you remember England and what a real Autumn is like. J.M. Barrie said “God gave us memories so we might have roses in December.” And so it is with poetry. Thank you for these two delightful reads!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, I love your comment. You know me so well! Yes, I am embracing my oranginity, orangeness and oranginality! It’s taken me just over fifty years to turn from pallid green to blazing orange… my autumn years are going to be flaming marvellous, I feel it! 😉 I am also a Paddington Bear fan, so your mention of my marmalade-loving mate warms my heart. I always have at least two jars of English marmalade under my hat here in Texas.

      Your comment on ‘It’s Fall, Y’all!’ is beautiful. “… the aspens and cottonwoods shimmer with gorgeous gold and promise snow… ” is pure poetry, and I am in love with the J.M. Barrie quote – my memories have been my salvation. Although, I will say I’ve come to love the warm winters of Texas… a wonderful pay off for summers that are hotter than hell. Brian, thank you very much indeed!

  6. Paul Freeman

    Your autumn poem reminded me of the first chilly day of an impending Zimbabwe winter. Commuters would be swaddled in winter coats and scarves at the bus stops, only to be sweating and divesting themselves of their cold weather attire ten minutes after sunrise.

    The ‘Orange’ poem was great fun, too. Was it caffeine induced, perhaps? It has that three Espresso buzz about it.

    Thanks for the reads.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Paul, thank you. I think that any change from the norm where weather is concerned brings with it strange behavior… a mad-dogs-and-Englishmen type of behavior, which is huge fun to watch. I have even displayed such behavior myself.

      My ‘Orange’ poem is just me getting high on life… a rare thing in these dark days. I intend to embrace this side of me… until I hear of the next political scam.

  7. Margaret Coats

    Susan, growing up in Florida, I simply understood that autumn or fall was not part of seasonal life. Leaves fell in the spring as new growth pushed out what was still there from last year. It is interesting, though, to remember that teachers tried to engage us in the seasons of Old England and New England through art and literature. And here you are as a poet challenging nonconformist seasons! Nice job.

    “Lady Marmalade” is better than any poem in Gilbert Sorrentino’s “The Orangery,” although I do like some in his whole book of orange poems. They are modernist, of course, and pay little attention to form, although I give him credit for inventing the villanette. In this poem of yours, form enables you to focus on many aspects of the color orange, to concentrate on one, and to review the paintbox. Quite an achievement! I’ll make one tiny suggestion for the unity of a poem written in feminine first person singular: change that next-to-last line to say “when she’s orange!” The sudden “they” lacks any antecedent, and to my mind, diffuses the exultant concluding words of Lady Marmalade.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, thank you very much for your lovely comment, which has the added bonus of being informative and helpful. I had not heard of Gilbert Sorrentino’s “The Orangery” and I’m intrigued. I think the word “orange” engages the senses and is a fantastic word for a poem. One of my favorite “orange” poems is Wendy Cope’s “The Orange” because I can smell the moment and feel and taste the joy, all because of the orange:

      The Orange

      At lunchtime I bought a huge orange—
      The size of it made us all laugh.
      I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
      They got quarters and I had a half.

      And that orange, it made me so happy,
      As ordinary things often do
      Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
      This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

      The rest of the day was quite easy.
      I did all the jobs on my list
      And enjoyed them and had some time over.
      I love you. I’m glad I exist.

      I love your suggestion and have just asked Mike to change it for me… it makes a huge difference – I am orange and I’m owning it! With much gratitude.

  8. Peter Hartley

    Susan – Like Sally above I was exceedingly concerned and somewhat disturbed by the apparently intimate and salacious knowledge of a butterfly’s undercarriage displayed in your first poem. This is not the sort of thing a young lady ought to know anything about. I very quickly got off my high horse, though, to admire the way you have managed to write your second poem about the colour orange and find a rhyme for it (without invoking the name of an obscure Cambrian hillock) that is as effortless as the rhythmic peristalsis of a cabbage white prior to evacuation: orange does indeed rhyme perfectly with itself. These are two delightfully frivolous offerings that could not possibly have been written by anybody else. You are a star without the peachy panache (or the PGs).

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Peter, it is said that laughter is the best medicine… I have been ill of late, and, having just read your hilarious comment, I know I’m on the mend. I’m now guffawing my way to good health with the aid of those regular cabbage whites. Thank you for bringing rays of healing sunshine to my Sunday morning… I will be up and about in no time! I love this comment!

  9. David Watt

    Susan, I lost myself in the sheer pleasure of reading these two poems.
    Your “hairs on a butterfly’s thighs” is a delightful comparison.
    The ease in which you have included numerous perfectly placed internal rhymes in “Lady Marmalade” is remarkable.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, thank you very much for your encouraging comment. I know just how meticulous you are when it comes to rhyme and rhythm – that is why I’m grinning.

  10. Norma Pain

    Susan, I absolutely love your poetry, especially these two which made me feel so happy.
    Lady Marmalade… the title itself is just so sweet. Thank you.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Norma, I am sorry I’m so late in getting back to you. Thank you so very much for your lovely comment. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the poetry… and I’m extra thrilled it made you happy.

      Marmalade is one of my favorite delights. I love tawny marmalade spread on hot, buttered toast with a steaming cup of Assam tea… even though I live in Texas, my breakfast table is often very English. 🙂


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