Fallen Apples

The crack of dawn bells that

Startled me from sleep were

Far bigger, more alarming

Than they needed to be;

But set me on a mission:

Could I revisit my younger days?

A fox cub, sniffing fallen apples

Couldn’t understand; the

Stag nowhere to be seen,

Though the October bronzed oak

Stood its corner proudly

In bigger, harsher stubble fields.

A part-blind pony listened patiently

But could offer only a toss of the head

And sympathy.

The lane to old education is overgrown

And a discarded Playboy lady, damp

From a night in the ditch

Failed to excite while a

Senseless robin in mist scarfed laburnum

Threw a threadbare tune at a

Bored, farmyard cat.

And the lady in the house,

Who might have helped

Was only concerned that

The hearth was cleaned again.

Glorious rising sun left me wondering:

If the butterfly could speak

To the caterpillar …

What, exactly would it say?

… and, why would the caterpillar listen anyway?

She Was Lily …

Once proud, glamourous and desired,

So surprised to have been lying there overnight,

In the hedge bottom, surrounded by fallen apples:

The very fruit of her performance, persuasion and profession;

Getting damp, sniffed around perhaps by

Curious fox cubs as she shivered;

Unused to the lack of attention and

Neglected, nay discarded, she can still show

Those false, panting last-second pouts, faintly self-damning

And wholly ridiculous in her new environment.

Too two dimensional to keep around for longer than

Lust will stand to attention;

Passed over for the latest new-big-thing fashion:

She was Lily,

Now she’s just a picture.