In the yard the autumn leaves are slowly
losing the color of the golden season.
They lie in little piles
and the sunlight
the last before winter
touches them and the resinous brown pine needles
the illusive half-hidden
apple smell of autumn.
Scholars say that the archencephalon,
the old limbic brain,
the nose-brain of our reptile past,
hides in the depths of the skull vault
and that sometimes
touched or injured
it senses odors
from the night world of ten million centuries.
I think it is so now.
In the leaf pile I have seen secretly thrust forth
an indescribable muzzle.
I shall not investigate;
it is my own.
Smelling autumn I have resurrected
what has slept a long time.
Be quiet now--
let him hide in the sunlight and the leaves.
He breathes and suffles;
he has been a long time in the black dark,
Let him breathe
he is part of myself.
Through him has come
the sense of all these leaves;
he has rooted his way up
through dynasties of neocortex.
Let him breathe.
Let him savor the earth;
let him nuzzle the leaves.