Approach of Winter

: William Carlos Williams

The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard carmine–
like no leaf that ever was–
edge the bare garden.

William Carlos Williams

The Rose Family

: Robert Frost

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

Robert Frost

Nothing Gold Can Stay

: Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay

Robert Frost

Adam Considers the Proffered Apple

: Brian Wilks, 2011

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

A Time to Talk

: Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, “What is it?”
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod; I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Robert Frost

Scarecrow in a white blouse

: Nicholas Bradley, Autumn 2004







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

Frog on the Allotment

: Nicholas Bradley, 2004

It was a good sized frog.
As ever, that glistening motley

wash-leather skin – lemon, green,
yellow, black spots;

it went well with the garden leavings
piled up

with the rolled back old carpets,
April leaves, grass, roots in a heap,

it went under, blended in;

though water,
its skin matched the land colours.

At first I saw it, after a spade thrust,
spring up

then stop, elongate,
as if to show me itself,

unchopped, whole, no missing limb;

as if I’d have sense of it,
come from the beck,

and of where it fitted in.

Nicholas Bradley, 2004

The Dark Allotments, Early April

: Nicholas Bradley, 2004

When I got there

I saw eight magpies on one plot,
one perched on a cane or a pole,

they let me get quite near;
it was raining, no-one else

around. I guess the wrens
and long ago hoards of small birds

are edged out. I half hate
these big survivors, half love

their beauty when I see them,
close, by the four foot pink

and off-pink bush; what is it?

I got digging, the odd whinny
of a horse was all this inner city

garden had on its grey six-thirty
soundtrack, as slowly the church

and houses on the hill
sank below street lights;

I had to get out.

Nicholas Bradley, 2004