Night Apples

by John Stocks


Summer dies and you die with it
In the transient orchard of your mind.
Leaves tumble, plump blue-berries swell
On the fallen fruit oozing at your feet.
I feel you are too young to die,
And in denial you flit and tumble
Like a tiny angel, ghost moth.

It could be Greece or the Dordogne,
A wind that stiffens from the North,
Pin-prick stars that kiss a frozen sky,
The plough, Orion and Pleiades,
Blazes in the hills and sweet mimosa,
A child’s face in the velvet blackness,
Vague fears as you turn out the light.

Far away from home and aging fast
In this torrid land of forest fires
And half-tailed lizards leering in the sun,
Cork trees like green spume on the hillsides
Hiding your lover’s lonely grave.
How strange to die alone in this land
With the Mistral tearing through your dreams.


Copyright © 2007 by John Stocks

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