Sunday, October 9, 2011

Slip obscured into the autumn fog and silence

It's the season of mushrooms. The fragrance of cedar and the air of moss and rain, without cedar. Ghosts of fallen trees, red cubes and red dust framed in green. The season to observe distant strangers in the woods crouched among the stumps and tree bases. In the dune valleys. Knowledge of the woods explored to children who run ahead and drift behind. Spelunk under leaves and mist off the trail to strange domes of red and orange, to cities in miniature where red-backed salamanders make a home beneath bruised wet caps.

The woods are filled with swords. With hushed waves and ravens calls.

Each path leads to dragons, and tree-duels and sparring along the way to low and interesting spaces. Spaces between. Spaces below. Around. Where earth walls contemplate dungeons and rolling without complaint. Where mossbeds like green carpet are places to lay and talk and munch on wintergreen earthen candy between tree adventures, and insects are metallic and kingly.

Like blood. Like rust. Earthy red mushrooms dot the low, sandy patches that get into the clothing among the scrub oak and juniper and crusty, starshaped puffballs. It all ends up swept when the shoes come off. A spray of grit spilled along the floorgrain, the dunes have their ways of moving in by wind and by shoe and by emptied pockets, there's no stopping them in their centuries long agenda of shifting. Only the hardened dunegrasses can tame them, but they bloom in the fall in tassels while the fibers wash along the shore.

The trees know when to stop.

Their gnarled rootfeet terminate at the ridge in pause and never dare to move into the sharp dunegrass and eroding, sanding winds. They stand and watch and listen to the edge of the wind, knowing where the world ends. Soon they fade from green, to yellow, to red and slip obscured into an autumn fog and silence.

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