Autumn Altar – a poem by Susan Charkes

Autumn Altar
“They cry out for an offering of flowers or of fruit”
                                                (after A.V. Christie)
invocation of oregano             mountain radiance
                        scent of moths                         bearing the breath of bards     
black paste     moldered walnut husks
                citric  tang              
henna’s  secret stranger  
wild cucumber pods
            mad prickles mellowed to lacy veils  
the spade-bitten earth 
a chalice   for roots   
to milkweed the memory of Mexico
ash samaras     the curtain lingers                   riddles under wide-eyed bark
never again    
phosphorus of the field    earth lanterns         
            possums    decay before dying 
this our grape              twisting  
(de)pendent  on           the adamant other
pawpaw           just ready when easily bruised 

Susan Charkes, writer and poet, lives in southeastern Pennsylvania. Her poetry chapbook, sp. was published in 2017. She is a member of Montco Wordshop and Tenth Sky Poets. More at

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