The Thinking Poet

 

Apple-Time

Precariously I cling to soot-grimed boughs,
(like my ancestors, some say, though I prefer the Eden tale),
in search of fruit the ladder could not reach.
Lowering October sun splashes through tiring leaves;
the childrenís upturned faces, bronzed and round,
are like the seasoned apples which I seek,
full, firm and sweet.
The choicest prize is there beyond my grasp,
the maggot feeds on those about my feet.

Apple-time again;
shelves, cleared for the glut,
are now arrayed in shining rows of gold, dappled red.
Earth, wood and stem have not failed us.
Soon the first sharp winds will shear the trees,
and leave them in their nakedness to freeze.

We are robbed of so much,
harvest hardly compensates.
I contemplate earthís annual requiem,
and mourn the loss of all this eager life.

Yet well I know that some November night
the haloed moon will lure me to this place
to gaze at her through rimed-breath,
held in tinselled arms,
dressed, as she is loveliest, in white.
And through those clutching arms which now I clasp
Iíll float my sight upon the silent sky
to find familiar stars that never die.

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Ron Cretchley

16.10.72