The Orchard Path
by Leonard Clark
Two apple trees grow in my garden,
Five hundred in my head,
Two trees confer dawn's colour on the town air
Giving it, if only for a season,
The appearance, though not the heart, of Eden.
But the hundreds in my head,
Blow triumphantly on my boyhood hill,
Massed, orchards of them,
Transmuting Severn's skies
To every shade of pink,
Taming the primroses at their feet,
And so full of song, the hill
Is one continuous fire of trembling sound.
Blenheim's at peace with Cox, Beauty of Bath
Passes the time of spring with stout James Grieve,
Laxton's superb, Edmund's Russet is neat,
Ribston's Pippin wears an everlasting face;
They are huge with the promise of fruit.
My nameless trees have no proud harvestings,
They go like two old cripples into age,
Their true identity is long remembrance,
They have their blackbirds still.
From 'Selected Poems 1940-57' (Hutchinson, 1958)