Where have all the orchards gone? – NaPoWriMo 25

Spring answers the question
in a pink and white flurry
the orphan tree in suburban garden,
pretty as a fair maid,
a glory of petals
by the farmhouse door,
a wildling in the hedgerow,
and a haze of slack-girdled bees
with their low throbbing hum.
A capful of petals
floats like silk,
and a sackful of flies
like confetti – petal storm –
faintest scent of honey
in the spring air.

All the ghost orchards
are awake now,
oaken pins and gilly flowers,
all the lost trees
are found again,
and the world is
pink and white.

A spring poem for NaPoWriMo Day 25http://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-five-5/

We are asked to write a poem that is specific to a season, uses all 5 senses, and includes a rhetorical question. I’ve used the question as a title, and included some references to traditional Devon apple varieties, too .

That time between summer and autumn

The blackberries have ripened while my back was turned –
like a child growing in fits and starts, suddenly
taller than the lamp in the corner – bursting out of his clothes –
and the apples are swelling. There’s a tree that I pass by each day
that’s suddenly covered in fruit.

The world’s waking up from its summertime dreaming;
it rolls up its sleeves and gets on with the business of harvest:
there’s quinces to ripen and pears tightly clenched on the tree
and the apples are swelling. The trees that have hidden all summer
are suddenly covered in fruit.

The sun soaked through to my bones, and the bones of the land.
Now we have rain – that began as a miracle, and stayed on…and on –
dimming the lights and soothing the fever, scolding us gently
for being so foolish, as if we are children who sneaked to the fair,
and gorged ourselves crazy on neon and spinning and swooping, but now
the apples are swelling and the trees that have thirsted all summer
are suddenly covered in fruit.

Did I mention the berries are ripening?

 

For Bjorn at dVerse, who asks us to broaden out our punctuation choices. I’ve done my best. I’m probably an over-user of ellipses…but I do love them so…but I couldn’t find room for an exclamation mark! Oh well…

 

On the anxieties of owning an orchard – NaPoWriMo 4

And so we made it through March –

those late frosts, threatening –

and now the quince tree

is dreaming about leaves,

spring green, wax crayon.

 

My daughter’s upstairs,

studying for exams

 

I’ve walked down through

the orchard – they’re all there –

even the baby Bramleys are OK.

They’re on the brink

of blossoming.

 

We’re going to look

at prom dresses this week.

 

It will be bullfinches next,

apricot bellied, almost

forgiveable, stripping

the flowers on the

crab apple. I can only watch.

 

My daughter’s got a place

at college, for September.

 

And then the blackbirds,

those egg yolk yellow beaks

plunging and pecking

at the ripening fruit.

 

And me. Hovering

and flapping, like an

anxious angel, watching,

waiting, holding back.

 

Trusting their wisdom.

 

Day 4 of NaPoWriMo, and we are prompted to add specific details to our poem, to ground it in reality. NaPoWriMo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A list of apple names – for dVerse

Slack ma girdle
Camelot
Billy Down Pippin
Winter Lawrence

There is a crunch
a fragrance
in these names.

Fair maid of Devon
Don’s delight
Glass apple
Golden ball

There is a girl
rubbing an apple
on her skirt,
to make it shine

Black Tom Putt
Cornish Gilliflower
Hangydown
Hoary morning

A boy tossing
A glowing apple
High into a blue
September sky

Sops in wine
Cotehele beauty
Pigs nose
Red ruby, Morgan Sweet

A woman peeling and slicing,
Rolling out pastry
Hands floured,
Cloves and cinnamon to hand,
Singing as she works

Paignton Marigold
Lucombe’s seedling
Pomeroy of Somerset
Farmer’s glory
Quench

The men picking,
crushing, golden juice
trickling, and then
the long wait
in the barrel.

Yarlington mill
Ice apple
Nine square
Hockings green

Old names,
Graced,
Echoing down years,
Sweet and crisp,
Sweeter for being stored.

Names of traditional apples from the South West of England. I’m ever so slightly obsessed with them – and these are only a few. I didn’t really need to add anything else, but I have attempted to explain my obsession. This is for Victoria at dVerse, who is asking for list poetry.

NaPoWriMo 19 – a creation myth

The Orchard

I see her standing
in her orchard,
one small pip,
shiny brown, resting
in her right hand.

All around, the trees stretch out
as far as far, and there is birdsong
and the drowsy drone of sleepy wasps.

Apple trees don’t grow true from seed.
She knows this. And the fact
that you must plant 10,000 pips
to win the prize: a tree worth keeping –
an apple worth the eating.

So, she’s half laughing at herself,
but plants it anyway,
pressing it gently
into the nurturing soil.
Then waiting. She has time.

Warming it with the wild sunshine
of her joy. Watering it
with the soft raindrops of her love.

Dreaming that this could be the one
the tree that grows the perfect orb –
green flecked, and russet,
maybe clouded, wet with dew,
smelling of wholesomeness.

An apple to be held gently
and with respect – the flesh
of apples bruises easily –
an apple to be shared,
sweet as laughter,
with a tang of something longed for.
An apple to be loved.

I see her sitting, waiting,
in her orchard, patient
as eternity. Trees stretch out
all around. Blossom glints white
here, see, and there, shining
in the great darkness of infinity.

NaPoWriMo has reached day 19, and is asking for a creation myth. I hope this works as one. 

Apple

See, here
in my hand
gold flecked
red orb

***

And if I flaunt
Myself
On the highest bough
Just out of reach
Of your grasping hand
And if I offer my skin
To the wild birds
And if the wasp sips
At my wounds

What then?

What then?

***

Temptation
Is a scent

Sense
Of sweetness
Floating by

***

Cornish gilliflower
Pig’s nose
Golden knob
Oaken pin
Slack ma girdle
Farmer’s glory

***

Blackbird sharp stabbing
Piercing smooth skin russet red
Autumn gifts scattered

***

I always want to shout
“Don’t eat the rosy side”
But the old woman always tempts her
And she never hears me

***

I peel it carefully
Green writhing
Away from the knife,
Whispering the secret
Of his name

***

You hold green
Sour sweet
Mouth music
Singing always

***

In the warm kitchen
I stir the autumn
Cloves and cinnamon
Warm the long nights.

***

White flesh shatters in my hot mouth.

 

This is what Bjorn calls cubist poetry – I think. Check it out at dVerse.

Summer’s slipped by – circle poem for Jane Dougherty

Summer’s slipped by:
I felt a chill this morning,
Warning of coming frost,
Lost last night’s light early.

Pearly mist’s lifting here,
We’re picking the apples –
Dappled with light and shade –
Weighed, each in the hand, with care.

There in the bottom ground
Round the old tree
We gather, wondering how,
Now there is cold beneath
Heat of the sun at noon,
Tune that the wasps hum –
Summer’s slipped by.

Wednesday wouldn’t be Wednesday without a challenge from Jane. This is a circle poem – check her site out for details of the rules of the form. It was trickier than I expected.