Smells like October

wet spring followed by this,
a parched, dry fall.
crush of katsura leaves underfoot
releasing toasted warmth, buttery, cozy, smell of fall.
catch a whiff of gardenia-scented silverberry blossoms,
of sweet perfumed eternal fragrance daphne,
or salad freshness of sasanqua camellia,
and rotting figs,
fermenting apples,
wildfire smoke on the wind.
dry and drier,
drooping leaves,
crisped and browning,
dormancy hastened not by frost but
by drought.
let the fall dry gardens live on, not die, not yet, wait
for rain.

sense of smell elevated with dry warmth,
richer, fuller fragranced
than a wet October.
all the aromas of this month:
dust, leaves, fruit, flowers
a nostalgia
a remembering
a daydream:
that childhood day in the pumpkin patch
spiced cider and Halloween hair dye.
hay and manure and caramel-coated apples.

low angled autumn light catching pear-shaped rosehips,
golden grasses, black heads of coneflowers
no dew, nor frost, nothing moist.
crunch and cough.
no earthworms surface,
bees sunny linger on asters and salvias.
seeds to sew,
waiting for rain:
madia, collomia, clarkia, and cow parsnip,
for petrichor—the smell of wet earth,
oh, the drip of cloud to fir needle to sword fern to ground,
dripping from nose tip, dampening all smell.
daydreams and present truths,
swinging through time and fantasy and prayer,
pull me to the present with scent, warm and toasted,
katsura again,
and silverberry
and fig.


silverberry (Eleagnus x ebbingei)

2 comments on “Smells like October”

  1. Your writing is wonderful, Leslie. Journeying through the smells of Fall in my mind – interesting how smells trigger memories – but words cannot trigger smell? I wish I could still smell everything as I did a few years ago. Imagination has to suffice for me but your writing triggered many memories of appreciating the smell of soil, rain, flora and fauna. Still, I love the Fall season and all the changing colors and atmosphere. It is dry but still SO beautiful.
    Thanks, Leslie.

    1. Leslie Davis says:

      Thanks Vilma. It is so intriguing that connection between smell and memory. And imagination! And color! And beauty! All the things that spark awe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *