The best season of the year. Fewer tornadoes than in spring, less heat than in summer, and less crap than in winter.

It has the best holidays -- Thanksgiving, where all you have to do is eat, then throw the pigskin in the back yard with your cousins while the grown-ups sleep inside from eating too much turkey, and Halloween, where you dress up as a scary monster, tell ghost stories, and eat candy.

The trees change color and start dropping leaves. Football gets started, and it gets fashionable to bundle up, eat pickles, and scream at high school kids to THROW THE DAMN BALL. Pumpkins ripen, and the yearly harvest gets started in full swing. The air gets a little cooler and crisper, and you can hear half-remembered whispers on the wind.

For unknown reasons, I can tell when the first real day of autumn arrives by waiting until I get irresistible cravings for peanut butter cookies. For equally unknown reasons, autumn air always smells, to me, like a combination of pumpkins, cinnamon, chile peppers, ancient Egyptian funereal wrappings, and beer.

Best season of the year, really.
In the East, sunrise-orange sherbet melting in reverse

To the South, hills and valleys full of cottonball fog

On the Western horizon, what is left of the moon
half circle in retreat

From the North,
Snowgeese &
winds that shake trees bare
leaving shards of color
broken stained glass.

Autumn arrives; the promise of heating degree-days, gourds, New England's season in the afternoon's slanting sun. Cooling days, fifties (Centigrade's decades too broad for apt description), thermostat feeling fingerprints again.

Warm-blooded, these changes should be inconsequential; equilibrium controlled with a chatter, a constricted capillary paling the fingers. Yet consciousness hefts the internal difference, finds new words, crawls out of easy summer slumber, another season lost to mindless hibernation.

Upon Summer's Predicted But Sudden Retreat

The bacchanal is over;
Her psychic mist has fled
The plane of human toil
For repast with the dead.
And settles leaf per instance
From heaven to the ground,
For man to quick recover
As summer’s pyre mound,
Of nomads’ heathen graces
For ev’ry shred of cloth,
Made one for each the races,
And one for ev’ry cough;

The northern breezes billow,
The sun is somehow cold;
The grasses green turn yellow,
And midnight has paroled;
But robin wakes me chirping,
And perches in the frost
Awaiting dearest Bacchus,
Forgetting he’d been lost.

Gold falls in darkness
Eyes open above my face
Sunlight breaks through clouds

Au"tumn (?), n. [L. auctumnus, autumnus, perh. fr. a root av to satisfy one's self: cf. F. automne. See Avarice.]


The third season of the year, or the season between summer and winter, often called "the fall." Astronomically, it begins in the northern temperate zone at the autumnal equinox, about September 23, and ends at the winter solstice, about December 23; but in popular language, autumn, in America, comprises September, October, and November.

⇒ In England, according to Johnson, autumn popularly comprises August, September, and October. In the southern hemisphere, the autumn corresponds to our spring.


The harvest or fruits of autumn.



The time of maturity or decline; latter portion; third stage.

Dr. Preston was now entering into the autumn of the duke's favor. Fuller.

Life's autumn past, I stand on winter's verge. Wordsworth.


© Webster 1913.

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