POETRY

Orchard Lord

By

The little brown god of the apple trees,
afraid of the frosts and besotted with bees,
is hiding round here. I’ve a feeling that he’s
delighted with what he has done.

I can hear the sound of his rattling keys
as he opens the door of the season and frees
the fruits to do what they must and they please
as the days of their reckoning come.

And all the small green devotees
of the little brown god of the apple trees
are peering out from the canopies,
their faces touched by the sun.

The little brown god of the apple trees
gives each of his dears an affectionate squeeze
so their glorious possibilities
will exceed their eventual sum.

In the long wet grass I fall to my knees
and call on the god of the apple trees
to hammer it home till the whole world sees
that we are what we may become.

Ann Drysdale was born near Manchester, raised in London, married in Birmingham, ran a smallholding and brought up three children on the North York Moors and now lives in South Wales. She was a journalist for many years, writing, among other things, the longest-running by-line column in the Yorkshire Evening Post. She has won a few prizes and published several books, including a memoir, Three-three, two-two, five six, described by Raymond Tallis as “a masterpiece” and a quirky guidebook to the City of Newport. Her five volumes of poetry include Between Dryden and Duffy (2005) and Quaintness and Other Offenses (2009).

I can hear the sound of his rattling keys
as he opens the door of the season and frees
the fruits to do what they must and they please
as the days of their reckoning come.