Christopher Stocks


From ‘The Trees of Vauxhall Gardens’


Were there apples there? Fruit
To tempt the punters with? First
Tree of all, old Adam’s
Curse. Brittle

With knowledge. Difficult,
Productive. Victim
Of bitter pit, codling
Moth, sawflies, canker, scab,

Delicious, most delicious, crisp,
Deliciousest of fruits: eaters,
Cookers, finders, keepers,
Giving name to coster

Mongers, named themselves
For lords and ladies, well
Bred breeders, deserted
Villages and country towns:

Crawley Beauty, Monarch,
Mother, Nelson’s Glory, Winston,
Joyce, Hoary
Morning, Channel Beauty, Norfolk

Beefing, Costard, Spice,
Ringer, Rival, Hounslow
Wonder, Tyler’s
Kernel, Malcolm’s

Delight. Crunch
Went their rotten teeth. Toodle
The serpent lisped, coiled

Around a Granny Thmith.