Ghost Apples

Pic: Andrew Sietsema

In the heart of Ulster

Amongst the wren

Augments a tree

In Reubens Glen

That fashions fruit

Not ripe for men

A malus wrought of cold

For it’s considered that in

The nines of years

It’s apples crab to ice and tears

To mourn the wolf

They called Ailithir

Who’s buried at its feet


Where does essence fit

Where is its place in amongst the realms of men

And where at the table is it seated

If even it is offered a chair at all

As around tables where once we would break bread

Now we barely break breath

From either side of a splintered river

That gulf between the them and the us

An empty alphabet

The hollow hoard

Of a monotone spectrum

Now used to collate the aggregate of educated tribalism

To inflict a wound

And build a wall

Where they can’t get in, but we can’t get out either

Arrows forged on the anvil of the heart

As the hammer of intent strikes its blow

On overheated terms of exchange

And breath is fractured and cracked in two

To let words cram and backfill the space between

And occupy the ether

As they become flesh in the form of you

Born into this world by vibration

From chords at the back of the throat

Polished on tongues of colloquialism and the verbal influences of infancy

Where does essence fit

Maybe just amongst the swings and the roundaboutery

Perhaps only in conversations with my grandmother

Or someone else from an earlier time

Who’s known me all of my life