Sunday, 29 April 2012

An English Orchard

Behind the wind-angled pine and the rickety fence
Stand eighteen apple trees and two pear trees
Planted before the Great War now gnarled
And deeply lichened their sturdy boughs
Tricked out in pink and white blossom
Which will soon give way to swelling fruit
Of forgotten varieties with names like
Bishop's Fancy and Trumpet Major which
Since the old bee-keeper passed away
Now fall unharvested to be nibbled by
Intoxicated wasps and munched by the
Two shaggy ponies paddocked there;
In the school holidays grandchildren come
To visit and roam the orchard in wellies
Tearing tussocks of couch grass for the ponies;
Granny cannot really manage now that it is
Just her and the lodger rattling around and
Soon the property will be sold to a city boy
For whom apples and pears are irrelevant;
The orchard will be turned into a quad bike
Track or a barbecue area with outdoor heaters
And the bees will be puzzled

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