The day sky turned gold lamé,

god must have brushed back his hair.

I couldn’t help but smirk at the moon.


We slogged up an unkempt bootlegger

path that sloughed through slug-moss,

like sweatdrops mazing the thickened

eyebrows of an old man. The varicose

roots of blackjack oaks offered footholds

to pilgrim’s progress.


Change crisped the woods, and quickened

her geriatric colors. Gingersnap and burnt

orange held an autumn revival, and danced

in the spirit, like the gifts I have witnessed

arise from young hearts.


A polished creek stone wooed his stream

off a cliff, to a mountain elf’s Ruby

Falls tune, killing her softly—

                                      with his song.

Kevin Heaton writes in South Carolina. His fourth chapbook, "Chronicles" is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. His work has appeared in The Catalonian Review, elimae, The Raleigh Review, and many others. He is a listed poet at

Autumn brings spectacular bursts of color to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, especially at the Chimney Tops, where a breathtaking picture postcard awaits. Thirty years ago, my wife and I were living in bodies young enough to maneuver the arduous two mile trail along a mountain stream, and up to one of the summits. My hope is that this poem will transport you to the same place, where our thoughts will forever linger.



Copyright 2009