OCTOBER IN OJAI
What colors blossom from the dead
of autumn, amber burnished red
yellow light as summer green
has almost left, sealed, anointed
in fragrant healing of eucalyptus oils.
Brittle oak leaf shells, fallen strewn
mulch the harvest of shorter days
cold cloak memories of long hour
warmth, lengthening shade
caesura of sweet syllables
languid evening flow.
Inside a mountain crown
whirl of compass valley town
in circles center, earth folded
all around, pepper trees
near harvest, common on the streets
gold adobe topped vermillion
tiles from oak brush on hills
hidden houses, hollows and glens
run through a spectator´s lens.
A people town, young and old
courteously move along the streets
or walk a dog, then turn up the dial
to jog the paths or trails
a new life city library keeps minds awake
theater stages dance to music
and poetic charms, even Google maps
its movement, art and commerce on the go.
Prayers reach up as arms
of giant eucalyptus, shedding
years of pain and health
queen anne´s lace, purple
at their base, windflowers
greet, pass ocean breeze
horse pasture, dust and grass
fenced with white bridal wreath
wild honeysuckle adds some green.
A squirrel runs up and down a tree
raccoons forage, bandits of the night
lizards stucco stretch for sun
winding to the sea, scrub sage
pepper trees, giant oaks shade
the way, an occasional palm
royal tall adds an exotic theme
until the ocean, opens wide
distant horizon beckons
an expansive scene.
Sycamores line dry riverbeds
blue jays and ravens squawk
among fall leaves, sun warms
numb limbs, stillness pervades
the air, a noticeable chill grips
seals the coming on of winter´s
near arrival there.
Bright sun squints eyes, families try
to watch their children chase
soccer balls across grass extensions
orange lines mark the limits
space divided, relations of positions
syntax on the field decides
the meaning of life´s game.
Maybe I do need to see a neurologist
geriatric care, as gray settles
in peace and calm, waiting for departure
through time´s barrier, ideal
environment to soothe life´s cares
as a warm spell breaks October´s chill.
To the beach, destination to suit
broken swells, uneven bottom
variable depths near shore
horizon deep blue, breakers break
in green, constant collapsing
spreads water, churns respiring
agitates, release of oxygen
waves reflect the planets curve
moon´s pull, gulls stand wind buffeted
kelp ripped from rocks, strews
the sand, while bright sun surface
angled, white polished platinum
multiplied silver light, sparkles in your eyes.
c) Jan G. Otterstrom F. October 2013