Autumn Twilight

The air tastes of magic
and even leaves flee the encroaching dark
Shadows now lengthen and pulsate
seeking clouds shot with hematite
Beware not only of the old herb-women
with their bent spines and crooked teeth
but the nubile graces of the green
with their promises of untamed passions
Pay more attention to the flickers of your eye
which hide laughing dangers
The sky promises change
The wind sings of judgment
I hear its call and see airships
of fairies in their diving swoops
I wish to join their dance
I have seen the lights of the will-o’-wisps
but know better than to follow where they lead
Return to your fortresses of reason
for tonight belongs to the deep magic
when stories are told with dirt and thunder
and rocks and storms and broken branches
The shadows of caves have bled into roads
The rivers engorge with anticipation
Prepare your fires and your food
Hold your souls close lest they slip
like leaves from near-barren trees
to join the twilight fall

— Richaundra Thursday (Federal Way, WA)

Richaundra Thursday is a lifelong writer, yet still a novice to the published world of speculative and fantastical poetry. When not filling every available notebook with ink scrawls, she teaches Secondary Social Studies in Washington State where she frequently utilizes sci-fi/fantasy literature to help students make connections with their subject matter. Occasionally, she takes a break from reading and writing to cook, play video games and going outside to glance at the sun during the eleven days a year it makes an appearance.

Editor’s Note: I was tempted to use the 1882 oil painting of a will-o’-the-wisp by Arnold Böcklin, but I found the Celtic Music image of an enchanted faerie forest to be more haunting and beautiful.

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