. The Truth about Fall Colors I am October’s most submissive bitch, And just when I believed I’d struck it rich, The gold that hovered overhead was blown Away before I’d claimed it for my own. And now the maples turning scarlet red Will shed their leaves on every flower bed Before I’ve had a chance to see them high Above in contrast to the azure sky. I feel that I’ve been robbed too many times, In various ecologies and climes, Of what I’ve always deemed my rightful due, Though everywhere I’ve lived the sky’s been blue. Perhaps the lofty hopes that I project Are something minor gods cannot effect. If so, then I will tender a request That they attempt, at least, to do their best. It’s always risky to rely on gods To back your cause and even-up the odds, For lesser deities are not much better Than rough barbarians hell-bent for leather. . . Freight Imagine jack-o’-lanterns eating watermelons Or prisoners reciting verse to fellow felons. And picture Genghis Khan in drag, appearing solo To entertain a wanderer named Marco Polo. So think, with concentrated mind, on all of this Before deciding that it wouldn’t be remiss To simply disregard unusual events Because they seem a mockery of common sense. And be aware that what is designated myth Is always at the heart of things, the very pith Of what may well be called eternal consciousness. The salutary herbs, among them watercress, Have much to do with how this whole affair will end, For nothing in the world is able to transcend The fundamental pull of raw emergent needs: It isn’t ever wrong to stanch a wound that bleeds. . . Navigation When contemplating wind-swept islands, ____The Hebrides Should come to mind, where spells of silence ____Behind each breeze Are few and far between. It’s true, ____Moreover, that No chemist ever made a glue ____ To fix a hat On skulls too numb to run for cover ____When brutal gales With fury like a jilted lover ____Dismantle sails. . . Advanced Vermont Folk Medicine Epitomizing autumn, apples grow On gentle slopes of green New England hills, Where cider is fermented, as we know, And turned to spirit in illegal stills Physicians monitor throughout the night In case a second or a third opinion Is needed to assure a sybarite That jack instates the thirsty soul’s dominion. . . C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India. His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.