Michaelmas Time

For James Crane, who reminded me of the term “Michaelmas daisies”


The blurry haze beginning to clear

just after the canonical hour of Terce,

filtered sun warms my skin as I

drink coffee on the front porch

on a Saturday morning in late

September, the calico cat drowsily

draped over the other chair, as

morning glory wakes and spreads

in worship its blossoms, which oscillate

in the wind like members of a charismatic

sect at public prayer, but the liturgy

does not lack irony, for is not only

the morning glory that blooms;

so too do the lavender-blue asters,

named by the Greeks for their

starry flowers, elsewhere known as

Michaelmas daises because their

season climaxes on the feast day

of the archangel-general—coincidentally

falling—as Lucifer fell from heaven

to piss on everyone’s blackberries—

near the autumnal equinox, reaching

their height as he descends from his,

harbingers of shortening days, the

waning of summer’s sun-filled hours,

the expansion of dark night from which

we call on the godlike Michael

to protect us, when the scholars

begin to sequester themselves

in the halls of learning to resume

with re-awakened vigor after

recreational holiday-making, the

excavation of their various

esoteric profundities, and a

quarter-day of reckoning as well,

when, along with the bannock-cake,

one’s goose is cooked. But aren’t the

purple asters lovely, breeze-ruffled

in softened sunshine?


Copyright 2014

  1. Allen Culpepper

2 thoughts on “Michaelmas Time

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