Mouths bloodied purple, fingers antennae
trembling for the touch of hidden fruit –

foragers scouring the hinterland,
eyes skinned for dark swell of berry.

Our days are long, and battle-scarred
with brambling. Brummels lade our nights;

all our tomorrows are a hooked tunnel
of bummelkites. We move hungrily

among edges, hunting for certainties:
scavengers off a darkened street,

hardened hierophants
in the sacred lore of blackberries.

We love beck-sides, and derelict places
where branches scramble out of sight –

behind nettles, under hawthorns, sidling
through bracken. We are long-armed

with reaching for the woody stems
that clamber at an immense height.

But most of all we love the brambles
arching spindly over walls in ginnels –

stray offerings from untidy ends of gardens,
bending with plump black weight.

Lucy Newlyn, from Ginnel

Adam Considers the Proffered Apple

Try this

Where’s it from?

Take a bite.

Has it been washed?

Just eat.

I can’t see a label!


I don’t know its country of origin!

Don’t make such a fuss.

I just want to know,
It’s not every day I taste forbidden fruit.

It’s not every day you’re offered it.

I hope this isn’t the start of a new diet

Who knows what it might lead to.

Ah well, what have we got to lose?
Here goes.

Brian Wilks, 2011

Scarecrow in a white blouse

Now evening, I’m out

on the allotment putting back on
the hat of a child’s scarecrow

for the show tomorrow.
I am the curator, the unseen

hand in the rain.. I’m singing
a Fool’s song from King Lear

when you appear, saying:
come and look at this one.

And you know, I don’t know how,
that Art is

this scarecrow-sylph
slipped in, with its pure poem

of being;
raffia cap,

arm at that angle,
Help The Aged bag.

You have to make a stand.

Nicholas Bradley, Autumn 2004