Hexham Market Apple Day Renga Participants

52 Ways of Looking at Apples

Yellow apples
green apples picking
red apples
    washing crushing
    everyone loves our juice!

I’m five
in a Devon woodland
find old apple trees
    the whole street’s tree
    to harvest for cooking

war-time – queuing
for her favourites
Egremont Russets
    a washing-up bowl
    Halloween bobbing

climbing the apple tree
when my legs
weren’t really long enough
    Golden Delicious
    not so delicious any more

an apple ladder
in Jim’s orchard
wasps, red admiral and medig
    pick – pause – admire
    in – crunch – enjoy

standing on my pony’s back
to reach crisp pale fruit
Wykin Pippins
    I prefer

weekend – friends and freedom
apple picking and pressing 
to remember forever
    us apple-bashers
    Lewis, our quality controller

Gascoyne Scarlet Ashmead’s Kernel
Beauty of Bath Bloody Ploughman
Keswick Codlin Greensleeves
    Slovakia, age nine
    drunk on fermented juice

boxes stacked
up to the eaves
apple scent in stone 
    falling and falling
    caught by Newton

three trees – one gives up
one’s begrudging
the third’s a thug, heavy-laden
    Howgate Wonder
    one apple per pie

every time I eat an apple
the memory
of my parent’s orchard
    forgotten homemade cider –
    Lewisham Calvados

all the apples eaten by mice
except those wrapped
in the Church Times
    our whole kitchen
    coated with smashed apples

a glut of crimson
climbing knobbly branches
crabapple jelly
    the Kentish farmer, yes,
    his Worcester Permains

ancient ramshackle one –
his are the apples we buy

under the apple tree
Thy Mother bare thee in love
with joy and full of grace
    apples tied to the clothes line
    for birthday party games

a dearth
until Dad’s death
then one lone Bramley
    trying to recreate
    their Dutch apple attic

scrumping – the risk
more delicious
than the apples we nicked
    breakfast every day
    from that Durham tree

harvest calling
young man in an orchard
everything falls
    twenty years in America
    I never tasted a good apple

Bonfire Night
scrambling up
Granfer’s gnarly apple tree
    Norfolk Beauty
    you are the apple of my eye

in an abandoned tin bath
all soaking wet
    homemade spider cider –

at Billy Bell’s
we’re making pies
with Arthur Turner
    climbing her first tree
    plucking her first apple

I hide
apple cores
    my grandparent’s orchard –
    the smell of happiness

back in Himachal Pradesh
we compare pink cheeks
to our northern apples
    “the silver apples of the moon
    the golden apples of the sun”

in Nana’s garden
running slap-bang
into her apple tree
    from picking to pressing
    to drinking – perfection

Claygate Pearmain Laxton’s Superb
James Grieve Scotch Bridget
Ellison’s Orange Sunset
    we loved our mother’s pies
    joked about the skins left in

O golden globes
O russet cheeks
O Eve.
    unimaginable –
    a world without apples

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer