Monday, November 10, 2008


Of Pulp Acerb and Spirit Bleak

Eden Phillpotts, Crab-apple:
Winter has filched the forest bare;
The boughs are naked, lean and grey
But whisper to the winter air,
All croaking, creaking cheerfully
Of what the Spring
Will bring.

Where breaks the wood upon the hill
The branches of a crab arise
And round about, for all who will,
Her unregarded harvest lies,
Cheerful and bright
To sight.

Her jewels flash among the weeds
With not a peck, or bite, or scar
Save where a mouse, in hope of seeds,
Has taken courage one to mar,
But lost the gain
For pain.

Both men and women happen so,
Of pulp acerb and spirit bleak:
Right well their inner wealth they know,
And muse why neighbors never seek
To win the gold
They hold.

Alas, we shirk them, shy and swerve
At greeting chill and voice unkind;
We dread the pang and lack the nerve
To tackle their unfriendly rind;
Our days fly past
Too fast.
Joseph Decker, Still Life with Crab Apples and Grapes

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