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,
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
Develops the jaw,
But celery, stewed,
Is more quietly chewed.
Where’s it from?
Take a bite.
Has it been washed?
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?
Brian Wilks, 2011
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
slipped in, with its pure poem
arm at that angle,
Help The Aged bag.
You have to make a stand.
Nicholas Bradley, Autumn 2004