Orchard – A Poem

Under a bright sharp blue
We grew to heroes.

Dan, who was often angry,
Atop the ladder
Shifted his sinews
Picking, passing down
Firm tawny flesh of pomme
His fair curls framed his face,
Young Ganymede of classic portraiture

Wee stumpy Susie,
In our minibus from Edinburgh
Down to the Borders,
Her instant sharp-quirked coarse ripostes
Bubbled from the fecund well
Of centuries.

We ate our sarnies; lay back on the grass
Feeling the friendship of the sun.

Harvesters of many times and lands
We fitted ancient shapes
And here today, right now –

Full brown buckets
Rough, rusty, leafy, crunchy, tangy apples.


This poem draws on a memory of working at Redhall Nurseries, a project owned by the Scottish Association for Mental Health. It was a perfect autumn day and the work and outdoor setting led to a feeling of being fully present and alive whilst having a connection to the past.