Lurid, Autumn’s Gold

Lurid, Autumn's Gold

The morning mist enveloped autumn’s shades
And auburn, crimson, scarlet –
They all paled
And blended into lurid,
The yellow pale.
Beneath the nascent sky.

Lurid, Autumn’s Gold

If lurid mushrooms come your way,
They’re good and healthy and they should stay
For supper, if they may.
But bright ones, picked in Autumn…
Stay away!
Or you own skin will turn lurid…
One day.

Lurid Autumn's Gold

I let them fly,
Between the Autumn’s wings,
My dreams,
Like lurid ghosts amid the yellow leaves.

Lurid Autumn's Gold

Some words carry an emotional burden, like lurid. Used in 17th century to describe stages of bruising and corpses, lurid sipped into nature: lifeless, pale, yellowish leaves of Autumn… Then it floated to ghastly light… And, finally, made the shocking news.

Taliban destroyig the Bamiyan Buddhas. Lurid, Autumn's Gold

The ghastly, lurid light that covered the Afghan earth when Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas in March 2001. You can read about this in my latest book, Silent Heroes, When Love and Values Are Worth Fighting for.

I hope you enjoyed Lurid, Autumn’s Gold . You might also like to read:

Feuille-Morte and A Nightingale in Autumn

A Journey through the Medieval City of Sighisoara, Romania

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Russet Leaves and Sweet Pears in Autumn

autumn russet and a pear @PatFurstenberg

He didn’t care that the leaves had turned. All he cared about was his friend, missing.
School had started.
So he let himself drop among the russet, carmine and maroon leaves, and became one with Autumn.

Russet apples and a pear at sunset
Russet apples and a pear at sunset

A game of words to feast one’s senses.
Just like the 13th century French word meaning reddish-brown, RUSSET brought us the homely feeling of a COARSE, homespun fabric. Plain, from the back country where rough skinned fruits with a tint of copper grow.
Russet apples & pears.

Russet pears in a dream. @PatFurstenberg. Image @marcosecchi free Unsplash
Russet pears in a dream. @PatFurstenberg. Image @marcosecchi free Unsplash

I’ve been day dreaming of Russet pears.
Their balmy aroma and textured skin paired with a surprisingly elegant neck.
Creamy white flesh, a match for the rusty strikes on their skin.
Soft and grainy, like a pear should be. Officially, Golden Russet Bosc. My childhood’s fruit.

I blink the brick wall away, my eyes intent on the piling of russet leaves. Their growing height sets my autumn days on fire. I hide from the gardener.
‘Set them alight today, Miss?’
He doesn’t know. Each evening I frolic in their reddish-brown crackle, a childhood whisper.

Do return for more autumn and dog – related posts.
What do YOU like about Autumn?

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Autumn’s crimson battle and a Ferrari

Autumn. crimson leaves and a shaggy happy dog - quote @PatFurstenberg.jpg

It has been a long, crimson battle for the shaggy warrior, but he won it. Nevertheless, the carmine bodies of his opponents, the Autumn’s subjects, littered the ground.

autumn crimson art of napping @PatFurstenberg.jpg

Drenched in memories of bloody battlefields, sentencing childbirths and sin, Crimson sank at Autumn’s feet. Hand picked by Her and entrusted with her most prized possession, her leaves, Crimson now looks up, in the symphony of life.

crimson trees

Never have the carmine or crimson colors been happier as this Autumn!

autumn happy crimsone and charmine @PatFurstenberg

Above, russet leaves, hushed tones, their veins facing the road, trembling in anticipation. In a tornado of horse power and diesel a Ferrari flashed by, crimson, as if pulled by the ray of sun caught in its glass.
And leaves, like paparazzi, followed.

And leaves, like paparazzi, followed the Ferrari @PatFurstenberg

Dating back to Roman times and the Middle Ages when it was accepted as payment, the crimson or carmine dye was first made from the body of the female kermes (Atabic qirmiz), a tiny red insect.

Carmine pigment is not very stable unless it is stored in dry place and it fades even under incandescent illumination.

Kermes (carmine) is mentioned in the Old Testament and it was used in the Americas for dyeing textiles as early as 700 B.C.

Example of carmine used in art:

Titian, ‘Noli me Tangere‘, ca 1514
Titian, ‘Noli me Tangere‘, ca 1514 – “let no one touch me.”

Titian depicts the biblical scene (John 20:17) where Mary Magdalene recognizes Christ after his Resurrection. Christ comforts Magdalen but asks her not to touch him as he will ascend to Heaven soon. Noli me tangere is Latin for “let no one touch me.”

Do return to my blog for more colors and seasons. You can subscribe to my newsletter and never miss a post.

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Autumn and a Cat with Gamboge Eyes

gamboge. autumn @PatFurstenberg

If you’re lucky you get to witness Autumn capturing the last heat of the summer’s sun in its deep yellow leaves.
Gamboge canopy.
Powdery like saffron, spicy like mustard.

Autumn. A gamboge canopy. @PatFurstenberg
Gamboge canopy

Dressed-up in her best sepia, with eyes of mustard gamboge, the cat thought of herself as one of Autumn’s leaves as she purred among amber and crimson.
Now… the bird will come.

Cat with gamboge eyes between autumn leaves. @PatFurstenberg
Cat with gamboge eyes between autumn leaves

Gamboge fills up my mouth when I say it. So fitting to describe autumn’s vivid yellows!

Gamboge arrived to us from Latin gambogium. It most probably has ties with the gum resin extracted from trees and used as a yellow pigment in art, trees of southeast Asia. Initially, the resin is orange-brown, but it becomes bright yellow when turned to powder.

Yes, gamboge, also spelled camboge, is family with the noun cambugium, most probably deriving from Camboja, the word Portuguese seafarers used for Cambodia in 1600. Cambodia is one of the countries where the trees producing gamboge are indigenous.

Masterful use of gamboge in art: Rembrandt’s portrait of his beloved wife Saskia van Uylenburgh as Goddess Flora, 1634.

Masterful use of gamboge in art: Rembrandt's portrait of his beloved wife Saskia van Uylenburgh as Goddess Flora, 1634
Masterful use of gamboge in art: Rembrandt’s portrait of his beloved wife Saskia van Uylenburgh as Goddess Flora, 1634
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Autumnal Sepia and a Letter from a Squid

Autumn Sepia @PatFurstenberg

When I think of sepia, first to spring to mind are treasure family mementos on small squares of paper, with laced edges or the 1930’s “pearl” colored MGM movies.
Yet sepia is also one of Autumn’s first gifts.

A sepia painting in Autumn

Fall paints the world with the melancholy of old photos.
Mulching leaves underfoot, rimming my shoes with a layer of tears.
Smells of earth filled with secrets and the promise of snow to come.
A necessity step.
I take it and bring thanks.

Sepia - Fall paints the world with the melancholy of old photos.
Sepia – Fall paints the world with the melancholy of old photos.

A Letter from a Squid

I imagine the 19th century seafarers falling overboard, suddenly forced to wrestle a giant squid to save their own life. Having already reached the end of a bitter yarn spun out of mutiny, little pay and, perhaps, lack of shore privileges, the sailor punches and wrestles the best and eventually, defeats it in its own habitat.

Seafarers fighting the giant squid
Seafarers fighting the giant squid

I can see the exhausted mariner at the end of the fight, every neuron in his brain demanding oxygen, his own fervor for life pulling him to the surface. Braking the waves, a helpless human again, addicted to oxygen.
And perhaps with blue skin.
An angry cuttlefish always releases an inky secretion.
It was the 19th century painters who realized its chromatic use first. But surely after the seamen.

Ever received a letter from a squid?
Ever received a letter from a squid?

More autumn colors coming soon… Until then…

As Good as Gold

“I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a dog lover. I’m more a cat person so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy As Good As Gold, celebrating dogs. I needn’t have worried. I thoroughly enjoyed this charming collection of verse and as a result of reading it I think I understand dogs so much better.”

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