Sunday, October 2, 2016


Send many apples, as a battalion
sliding down hills to war: russet and rose
and silvery green, thumping through the must,
tumbling out of clouds and filling wood bins.

Sunset daub and the heart of swell are lent
the cultivar valleys, but quiet as mist
in the owl fields, on forgotten stems
ungainly, abstruse, and with nimbuses,

where trunks lay from rocking chair roots
their finished girths nadir-down to rest
and still put out apples through retirement,
while others as old, at the ground's soft latching

have no heart wood, but a basal portal
wheezed into earth: these also send out apples.
Into a last-minute, outland sweetness
the proleptical puckering is honed.

A windfall theft in the Osoyoos rows,
but the forgotten are free, are free and unknown,
woven with fog bands when the dripping time homes.
One bite and gates of the salivary glands

know they're best of them all out of hand,
and that a crime of sadness, when life to corpse,
not all are plucked and branch stragglers rot;
breasted, dappled apples abound, and we,

unlearned in being inundated with apples;
yet pregnant cheek is burnished and wick's
detachment easy, available balm;
a singular pluck and the round in the palm.

2 comments:

Charles Van Gorkom said...

this is among the best I have ever read.

Paul Stilwell said...

To receive such a compliment from a poet as yourself, Charles, made my weekend. Thank you.