Ben Giamo

1. Follows September and precedes November. Tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The eighth month in Romulus’ Roman reckoning. From octo, Latin for eight.

2. The month that stands at half-mast in the Northern Hemisphere for thirty-one days for the fallen; in contrast to the blooms of April that spring forth.

3. Shades of yellow, brown, orange and red leaves—colors drawn from the earthy side of the rainbow; the droop-dance of wet muted plum-petals on the dogwood tree at dusk.

4. Host to opal skies, Oktoberfest, Columbus Day, Daylight Savings, Harvest Moon, and flocks of wingéd arrows shot from instinct, coursing south.

5. Zodiac signs include Libra and Scorpio.

6. Right time to take a hayride and walk across fields of milkweed and mustard grass.

7. Dusky slope of winter that reaps a gathering of forget-me-nots.

8. When overcast, an old plot unfolds against the tragic cast of bruised clouds.

9. After the first frost, when the weather is warm and sunny, a bright reprieve from the portent of polar vortex traditionally known as Indian Summer; renamed Tardy Hardy Summer so as not to offend Indigenous people.

10. A time to inhale the wood smoke unfurling from cords of firewood and draw back from crimson flames of the burning bush.

11. End of the month celebration called All Hallows Eve, when the martyrs to heat rash, wrath, drought, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires walk abroad throughout the land, clamoring for action and action now. Known in some regions as Beggars Night.

12. A brooding time to give yourself to thoughts that shall come to naught.

13. Typically, a scattering on the orchard floor: how sweet these twisted apples.