Beneath the rows of limes edging to yellow,
the air, tangible with precipitation,
appears almost emerald, a sea green.
In the border beside the high wall, which marks
the tended gardens from the unkempt woods,
there are blooms still. A bee gathers nectar –
and the black, turned earth ripples slowly
as a mole forages in the underworld.
Beyond ruined Troy, and north of Paradise
abandoned, from where our words began,
far over the plains and ranges of Europe,
on steep mountain slopes in haphazard orchards
are wild fruit the colour of blood and grass,
which travellers on the Silk Road – merchants,
conquerors, slaves – might once have eaten.
In the wooden barn where the tools are cleaned,
sharpened, hung, this year’s apples are displayed
in small pyramids: Lord Lambourne Dessert,
Gloria Mundi, Keswick Codlin,
Grenadier, Crimson Queening, Wise…
When the heavy doors are rolled back each morning
the air is overwhelmed with that keen, sweet scent –
as if Ynys Afallach, Isle of Apples,
Avalon were just below the horizon,
and landfall imminent.
Acknowledgement: Erddig [https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig] has inspired other poems published on the site, including THE OLD LIME TREES AT ERDDIG [https://www.davidselzer.com/2018/07/the-old-lime-trees-at-erddig/] and ERDDIG: REFLECTIONS ON PATRIMONY [https://www.davidselzer.com/2013/03/errdig-reflections-on-patrimony/]. The inspiration comes in part from the magnificent gardens, that have extended now to the car park where it is possible to leave your motor beside wild flowers. Glyn Smith, the Head Gardener, has kindly given me permission to publish the following:
PARADISE IN A PARKING LOT
A sea. Of cars.
Look discarded in a massive field of flowers, as a flow of drowned vehicles in a tsunami of rainbow colour.
A remembrance of our heritage; our little contribution. An added percent to a legacy of that once thought lost.
‘Ninety seven percent of our wild flower meadows have gone,’ before man’s hand.
But here waving. Definitely not drowning. Standing proud and defiant!
Adance with added insect life. Eyed and filed on the ‘cloud’ by dull, fleece clad pedestrians that can never shine as bright.
Just corn crop weeds, with a smile on their faces that are the true cups that cheer. Cheer for themselves. we cheer for and, take cheer from them.
The best car park in Britain?
Glyn Smith and garden team.
Head Gardener, Erddig Hall, Wrexham.
©Glyn Smith 2019