apple tree and lichen

Today a poety book arrived in the post.  It was most welcome to come home to, I was tired and rainswept, then having to spar with arrogant builders who had yet again parked across our driveway.  This is the first poem in Wendell Berry’s collection The Peace of Wild Things.  I thought it was special.  It helped with my anger issues.

The Apple Tree

In the essential prose
of things, the apple tree
stands up, emphatic
among the accidents
of the afternoon, solvent,
not to be denied.
The grass has been cut
down, carefully
to leave the orange
poppies still in bloom;
the tree stands up
in the odor of the grass
drying. The forked
trunk and branches are
also a kind of necessary
prose—shingled with leaves,
pigment and song
imposed on the blunt
ligaments of fact, a foliage
of small birds among them.
The tree lifts itself up
in the garden, the
clutter of its green
leaves halving the light,
stating the unalterable
congruity and form
of its casual growth;
the crimson finches appear
and disappear, singing
among the design.

12 thoughts on “Special

  1. Lovely, the thought of apple trees lifting themselves up in the garden, a foliage of small birds amongst them. Thank you for the introduction to Wendell Berry’s poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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