A new poem. And new photographs from a stroll yesterday that took us through Knight’s Cider orchards, the trees heavy with ripe fruit.
Here are spring blossom pictures from last year for comparison.
He will manage his inherited land,
old apple tree garden he cage-mesh fence-
protects against muntjac, vagrants and scrumping
hikers on their nettled ways.
He will own perfection to impress: lush, fertile,
red-ripe fruit for yummy mummy juicy tart
delights or summer evening cider-swilling
blokes from suburban barbeque brigades.
Unsettled, generations of badgers seek
new paths. Hedgehogs sense slugs
on rotting fallen fruit but can’t attend
while unintended wildlife revels in his regime.
Soon, brambles face him, eye-reaching,
snagging; no pollinating bees but biting
flies swarm from un-grazed soggy tussocks.
Now he has to mow, to brush-cut
understory and then sees he’s sliced his youngest
trees. Sap bleeds and, in the cuttings,
a gold-bronze hatchling slow worm writhes,
a broken signet ring. He thinks it’s a baby snake,
asks on Twitter, “ugh! adders in orchard
what 2 do?” Napalm is suggested – lolz –
but he’s already thought it through:
clearance will suffice. He’ll build
his kids a mettled playground.