the Aurorean has once again accepted one of my poems for publication, this one to appear in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue. Recently, a friend of mine asked why I don’t post my poems here. Why not, indeed? The simple answer is: you never know when you might want to seek publication. For many journals, a blog posting constitutes publication which would make it off-limits for them.
But AFTER something has been accepted? Well, why not? Please enjoy the following two-part poem which is near and dear to my heart on so many levels. I’d love to hear what you have to say after reading it. Where do you feel it? Does it transport you to your own memories of apples in one form or another?
Fruit Tasting of Earth and Song
The first apple I truly tasted was a marvelous
late-season Macoun from Hans’ orchards, his trees
loved into abundance with old-world wisdom
and song. Oh, he tended the earth
reverent in support of its best instincts, vigilant
against pest and pestilence, inviting us in to weep for joy
at the first crisp crunch of each perfect fruit, its juice dribbling
down my chin after exploding onto my child’s cheek,
each precious drop a tang of dirt and time, seasoned
patience and the humility of a master, his works of art
coaxed from the land by his patient hand with weathered grace
of age and timing, feeding our greed with gratitude.
When I hear ‘apple’ my thoughts bypass the tart pleasure
of the first fall bite through taut red skin to the smooth firm flesh
within, its juicy tang squeezing my cheeks
bypass the smooth deep rose of applesauce hand-turned and divided
into flat pints frozen against dark days’ yearning for fresh fall pairings
bypass even the requisite dumplings, coffeecakes and pies of all kinds
that bake away those first fall days. No, my thoughts turn to long
blossom-laden boughs of spring, my Dad cheerily filling my childhood home
with armloads of pink and white sweetness, their intoxicating promise
of a few short days and several long months the open-and-close
of a full season bookended by the twin joys of this single tree. After all
these decades, I cannot say which feeds me more – blossom, or fruit.