Z D Dicks




The Orchard

Down     past rough slivers of Cotswold stone wall
was the lower garden     reaching from earth
gnarled tendrils erupted     like arthritic hands     pear
and cooking apple trees     with sweet bitter fruit

The pommes were balls of mush     bigger than my grip
that would     I was told     rot my innards     at a bite     but the
pears     were rumped beauties     on thin knuckle branches
and I sunk into them     turning over with each swallow

I tossed each carcass     with its bullet pips     into log
pile     looking up     to the titan cherry tree     black limbs
beyond best jump     carrion cackled and bombed
leafless     in dark symbiosis     the birds a crow canopy

Evergreens rustled around     thick with brown and dusty
webs     owls and bats     roosting     side by side     stirring with
flexing flap and stretch of feather     at syrup blood
sprayed through air     and the clatter     of seed skulls

The crows were scalping those cherry nuts     cutting
blistered flesh with beak     I’d keep palms open
strafing to catch     a miss pulled stem     a spinning rivulet
of berries     but now     I would climb that tree     dig blunt
nails into bark     bend and rip     at the thought of hunger
roar     a shadow to sky     not wait for what falls to me


Z D Dicks is the Founder/CEO of the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and Gloucester Poetry Festival. He holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing. His first collection, Malcontent, is available from bookstores and online.

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