In the Blood

As the damp and wet of November sets in the body shudders, still clinging to the memory of summer, the cinematic light of autumn. But something is rescued from the advancing creep of winter, as the light is turned down, the colours deepen. And a message arrives in the blood. 

In the Blood

Sean Arthur Joyce

What voices slip from the rain?

Do the chickadees hear them

and understand?

If I could speak their language

we would talk of air

in all its guises—gusting,


just before a thunderstorm.


What light slides

from a November afternoon,

half-dark, all the colours moist?

Wet doeskin panes of leaf

turned by Steller’s Jays

a page at a time,

the lawn’s labyrinth unfolded.


What comfort reaches from the fire?

Who first struck the flint

that set the world ablaze?

Who knew heat could dance

in so many bodies, so many tongues

licking a forest with the mouth

of the sun, so many embers

waking all the voices in the blood.


©2012 Sean Arthur Joyce


In downloadable PDF format:

In the Blood

About seanarthurjoyce

I am a poet, journalist and author with a strong commitment to the environment and social justice. If anything, I have too many interests and too little time in a day to pursue them all. Film, poetry, literature, music, mythology, and history probably top the list. My musical interests lie firmly in rock and blues with a smattering of folk and world music. I consider myself lucky to have lived during the great flowering of modern rock music during its Golden Age in the late 1960s/early '70s. In poetry my major inspirations are Dylan Thomas, Rilke, Neruda and the early 20th century British/American poets: Auden, Eliot, Cummings. My preferred cinema includes the great French auteurs, Kirosawa, Orson Welles, and Film Noir. My preferred social causes are too numerous to mention but include banning GMOs, eliminating poverty (ha-ha), and a sane approach to forest conservation and resource extraction. Wish me—wish us all—luck on that one!
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