Poem for Saturday: Wild Apples Late summer woods. Seasons meld from one to another, not at the equinox and solstice but halfway between, in the quiet time when there are no other celebrations, but the sensitive person can feel the change, especially standing in the quiet relentless heat of a backwoods trail in August. I visited the trail on the traditional Celtic cross-quarter Lugnasadh and the Christian Feast of Lammas, when summer gently gives over to autumn, growth turns to ripening, the natural world begins to settle itself in for harvest and rest in the dark of winter, and later that day the sense of change, in the woods and in myself, was still strong with me, and I wrote this poem. It became a symbol and celebration of my own developing changes, my mother’s failing health and ultimate death, and reaching my own half-century mark shortly after, seeing that as my own Lugnasadh. I also recorded it with a slideshow of images; this is embedded after the text of the poem. Wild Apples At a bend in the trail, The scent of wild apples greets me. A tree abandoned from an old orchard Or sprung up on its own from old stock, wild and uncultivated, Stands trailside, Heavy with small round burnished apples. The late summer heat releases their scent, Sweet and tart, that the world may know they have reached their prime; The wild perfume of the coming season. From another tree one single leaf lets go And falls, papery, dry and curled, slipping through branches Clattering to the summer-hardened clay of the trail, Loud in the silent heat of the August afternoon. Months before, Winter lost her grip, and, one by one, The wildflowers of spring began to bloom, Which, in their turn, faded into the shadows of the dense summer woods. Now summer is losing her strength, Autumn is thinning the woods And bearing her own flowers and fruits, Changing the palette of the landscape With bright summer greens turning gold, Deep rich shadows fading hazy blue. Soon autumn will blaze along the trail, And songbirds will move their chorus south. Already winter has touched my hair, And the smell of wild apples is in the air. Poem “Wild Apples” by Bernadette E. Kazmarski © 2007, may not be reproduced in any way without express written permission of the author. Links to this blog are fine. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS8SItfoU7M?rel=0] We notice these changes in ourselves in the great cycle of our own lives. This was the topic of my 2009 poetry reading at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Change of Season. I have published the collections of poetry from each of the four poetry readings, 2007 through 2010, in a book entitled Paths I Have Walked, which you can purchase on my website. Also visit the writing section of my website to read more poetry and see more art and photos. Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked. I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning. Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings. Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way. All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it. Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”. $8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class). You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace. About the books and the poetry readings My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh. In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers. My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related Post navigation DoubtSorting Paper Clips 0 Comments Bernadette, I loved the video of your poem. And I forgot that there is a name for this shift in seasons; I sensed it this past week and wrote about it too. Thank you for a lovely post and a reminder of the Feast of Lammas. Loading... Reply Of all of them, this one is the most poignant for me. I find myself dripping tears at the emotions I feel at seeing the new colors, the light, the turning leaves, more than any other season. Loading... Reply I agree. Even as I am captivated by the golden glow these days, there is a poignancy in knowing that summer is coming to an end. Loading... Reply Leave a ReplyCancel reply This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.