It’s Autumn. Probably.

Red and green berries and leaves

Red berries

We didn’t have what I’d call a “summer” here in Atlanta. “Summer,” here, means sweltering, muggy days of 95° to 105° F coupled with 90% humidity or higher. Walking outside is akin to taking a sauna in a kiln.

Birds pant. It’s not attractive.

This summer, the mercury barely peeked over 90°. Usually it was in the 80s. Temperatures in the evening were in the 70s or even in the 60s. It’s been oddly pleasant even while elsewhere in the country, summer with its heat and humidity reigned.

And now, autumn is either coming or it’s already here. I’m not 100% sure which it is, yet. I don’t have any pecan trees, so it’s hard to know for sure.

My maternal grandmother, LaVerne Branch — Nanny — always said that the pecan trees knew. They knew when it was really autumn, and it wasn’t autumn until they reddened and started losing leaves. And in the spring, it wasn’t really spring until they began to green.

So in the absence of any pecan trees (and I pronounce it ‘pe KAHN’ to rhyme with ‘begone’ and not ‘PEE can,’ in spite of every southern stereotype in the history of ever), I guess I’ll just have to be content to say, “It’s autumn. Probably.”

And in honor of the change of the seasons (probably), I give you this haiku, inspired by the image at the top of this post.

crystalline frost limns;
deadly poison concentrates.
crimson berries, ripe.

That being said, I have no idea if those berries pictured are poisonous. We were told to write a haiku inspired by the image. The first thing I thought was “pretty berries, but they’re probably poisonous.”

It hurt me to not capitalize, but read the ‘rules’ of the contest if you want to know why I didn’t. I’m not still <twitch> twitching, am I? <twitch> Good. I didn’t <twitch> think so.

Heh. It occurs to me that I could make this a science fiction haiku by making it venom instead of poison.

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25 Responses to “It’s Autumn. Probably.”
  1. Kathy says:

    I have to agree with you. My first thought was that they had to be poisonous. Small, shiny, and deadly! Awesome haiku!!

  2. I love this! I shared it and pinned it. Yes, the pecan trees always know.

  3. Frances D says:

    Limns is an interesting word choice for that poem.
    Don’t our Nannies/Nanas tell the best stories?

    • I like ‘limn.’ It’s one of those words you don’t see too often, but I think we should.

      And yes, our Nannies tell the best stories. Although I will say that Granddaddy’s Fractured Bedtime Stories did have their own special charm. I mean, who would have thought to combine Little Red Riding Hood and Humpty Dumpty and Rapunzel? :)

  4. Jyothi Nair says:

    Never thought about them being poisonous. But how true. Nicely done. :)

  5. PhenoMenon says:

    Thanks for the entry to the haiku competition


  6. Ruchira says:

    I agree…the first look and there is caution.

    lovely haiku

  7. Vaisakh says:

    I loved the usage of the word ‘limn’. And the idea of poisonous berries :)

  8. Suzy says:

    I did wonder if anyone would consider them poisonous. I guess you did. I had to look up limns. So learned a new word today. Nice haiku.
    dropping by from the haiku prompt.

  9. KP says:

    I liked the line on grandma’s wisdom to trustPecan to know when the change in season takes place.The berries looked so red and juicy that I could never associate poison with them.Nice lines,the haiku

    • That’s what I love about contests like this one: every person sees the same image prompt, but no two people have exactly the same take on it. I don’t envy the judges. :)

  10. Shiva says:

    Wow…Poisonous berries… loved the haiku and the interpretation … and thanks for a new word limns…will soon use it to make my own forever …

    if you remove captcha …commenting on such beautiful posts will be more fun

    • You’re welcome for the new word. :)

      Sorry about the captcha, but every time I try turning it off, I get spam comments. The only way I’ve found to keep them to a minimum is to turn it on.

  11. Lovely haiku! and yes,they might be poisonous!

  12. Geeta Nair says:

    Just as they say,”All that glitters is not gold,” all berries though attractive, may not be edible. They can be poisonous. Loved the way you portrayed both aspects of the berry. Also loved the write-up on autumn and pecan trees.

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