Monday Poem

Shohola Orchard

I’m planting an orchard in Shohola
–a river runs through there
and the light is good for apples
and other living things

The place is filled with riches:
eagles fly overhead on thermals preying,
rafters happen by laughing, waving

We have a boat I can use
to row out and, like a Tahitian gentleman,
offer red Cortlands or Braeburns;
or,  if I so choose, a pear or a plum

I love the sound of a thing well said
and think, music when I sit with a good book
and imagine overlooking our orchard,
hearing the passing river harmonize
with a perfect line

And in my mind’s eye I even conjure
a snake in a tree pranking Eve,
and Adam the even more gullible,
but this time just for laughs because
I love the beauty and truth in laughter

Oh, and my children— their grove
blossoms at our orchard’s center;
they were the first, their limbs
have reached for light
and they have presented us
with their finest saplings

In my orchard I see myself
standing among trees reaching for
hanging fruit in pied beauty,
dappled light upon my shirt

my wife of many years is here
my kids come by with theirs,
friends show up every now and then;
the old ones dripping with nostalgia
but not tangled in the past,
who hold it but know enough to
be here now

Jim Culleny
January 2009