The Long Cry of Autumn

By on Sep 12, 2011 in Poetry

The Long Cry of Autumn graphic

Blustery morning winds
are driving low lying clouds
and three days of drizzling rain
into a gap in West Virginia mountains,
and I walk my dog under an autumn sky
so perfectly blue no words can hold it.

I’d like to hold this moment though,
the way my wife holds fragrance
in dried leaves she keeps in a dish
on her vanity, but the dog cares nothing
about past or future, invisible center
pulling hard against the leash

— all nose now —
brain gorged by smells far
beyond my imagining, enough
to quiver sagging lips of half-bark
dreams he’ll dream in front of winter fires.

Once a look, a word, a girl’s hand
at the movies was kiss enough to run
the length of me… now I caress the pull
of the dog’s desire against my hand, hoping
his delight and this last salt cry of autumn will

bring back bright red shoes walking
away from me when she was seventeen,
carrying the earth and the sky in her hand.

Passion Contents


As an athlete, English Teacher, lover of music, father, husband and citizen of the world, Larsen Bowker finds the themes and ambiguities which flourish in his poems. He is particularly grateful to magazines like Wild Violet, who offer him a place where his love of poetry finds a place where his words find a larger audience. In the illustrations that accompany their poems, readers find a way to take more from the poem than they would otherwise. He has had poems appear recently in Atlanta Review, Coal City Review, and Common Ground Review. His seventh book of poems, Elegiac Dialogues, came out in 2017.