First wisps of coldness catch the wind to wake
me from the summer lethargy. The stars,
more crystal than before, no truck will take
with lazy observations of Renoirs.
The air has found a sweetness it had lost
in acrid August. But though death has browned
the leaves, life breathes again in early frost
and work is joy, my stake set in the ground.
Winter camellias, snowdrops, crocuses
color my worklife with impetus and style.
A new vitality refocuses
the sharpness and precision for a while.
But always the sun sets up its honey-traps,
the damsel coolly dressed in white chiffon
strikes down resolve, condemns me to collapse,
back to the even-tempered amnion