Burning Fall

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There was a time in the fall of the year when leaves were raked into a ditch and burned. The rising smoke snaked its way through the neighborhood burning eyes for some and tickling nostrils. For me, the sweet smell of burning leaves is synonymous with Fall.

Folks living in the country burned their leaves year after year. Sometimes those leaf piles burned into the evening shadows. They would take a ghostly stance and watch with a rake in hand as the pile got smaller and smaller. In time everything turned to ash. No one gave a thought about polluting the air. The evening wind carried the smoke away blending it into the other scents of Fall. It mixed with the smell of oak wood burning in woodstoves throughout the neighborhood.

Smoke from burning leaves

Mingles with the cool night air

Sweet smell of Autumn


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, guest host Jo asked us to write a poem of scents. They are those smells around us that tickle our senses and trigger memories and emotions. I chose to write about memories of fall leaf burning.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

75 thoughts on “Burning Fall

  1. No bonfires here this year, Dwight, it’s far too dry. I love that smell – and the first log fire smoking curling out of chimneys. If I wasn’t already looking forward to autumn, your haibun would have given me a nudge.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah yes. How things change. In Australia many homes used to have incinerators – usually rusty old 44 gallon drums – in which we’d burn our household rubbish. I remember as a kid loving the thin tail of black smoke which came from soft plastic bags. Makes a pile of leaves seem pretty harmless! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dwight, your haibun is gorgeous … bringing back so many memories of my childhood and early adulthood. No one burns leaves any more where we live in Central Oregon / High Desert country … forest fires an ever present danger.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dwight, thank you for the trip down memory lane. I remember watching the leaves burn and the smoke rise up from them and the delicious smell. We had a couple of huge oaks in our yard and so many leaves to rake and burn. You’re right nobody thought about pollution in those years.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. no bonfires are allowed in town where I live unless they are in a contained space like a pit; certainly not near as exciting or heart warming as those made with logs on the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: vantage | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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