No 11 - 2001
A Bascombe Mystery featuring Devonian apples
[the italics represent names of varieties of apples]
He was tall and slender like a Longstem,
eyes soft of grey-Blue Sweet, alert, witty brain,
blemish-free, clear, pale skin like Hollow Core,
hair blue-black as the stem of Loral Drain,
restrained with a Dufflin’s subtlety,
the opposite of a Hoary Morning,
well-respected - unlike Slack Ma Girdle -
our hero composed as a Keswick Cooling.
Our heroine has grace of Sour Natural,
the fairness of Jacob’s Strawberry,
had rejected suitors like Johnny Voun,
and Johnny Andrews, such was her beauty.
She was an All Doer at her father
Ben Red’s after her mother’s tragic death.
Cared for his orchards of Bowden’s Seedling,
Coleman’s Seedling, flourished with apple-wealth.
Mrs Breadfruit sent the gold-trimmed invites
to the annual Broomhouse White’s summer ball:
she’ll wear her Chisel Jersey finery
and Mrs Catshead will gossip with all.
In a dress flowing like Buttery d’Or
edged with a Bicklington Grey fine thread,
our heroine, prettier than Gilliflower,
debuted at her first dance with Captain Broad.
Our hero stood still as a Honey Pin
watching the dancers reel an Improved Pound
and a Quarrenden before he could move.
They dance a Goring and she takes his hand.
Their long walk among the Early Bowers
leaves her latest suitor Ellis Bitter.
Mrs Board stops her story of King Byerd,
"A Golden Ball! They looked lovely together."
Misses Barum and Beef speculate
on their usual trip down Breach Bearer
past Long Drong, whether a summer wedding,
"and she’d look like Reynold’s Peach only warmer."
Rancorous and sour like Sops in Wine
face redder than Crimson Victoria,
Mrs Woolbrook swears our heroine’s mother
"By Quoinings! died of euthanasia."
Via Jake Plumderity and John Cerif
- sober as Stockbear, soft as Sugar Bush,
not yet visited Queen Caroline’s Inn -
both Rattlers tell our hero, hush-hush.
Panic calmed by a long glass of Plum Vite,
(cancer spread through Polly White so complete
it left No Pips), our heroine writes him,
sealed with the truthful mark of Morgan Sweet.
Our hero collects his post from Sweet Alford,
stops to read her letter by Sweet Cleave’s sty.
Absent-mindedly strokes a clean Pig’s Nose,
a Pig’s Snout nudges him to think clearly.
Our heroine wanders through Sweet Copin
and sinks down by the banks of Tan Harvey,
tells herself this will not be a Tale Sweet,
feels charred as Summer Stubbard, begins to cry.
Our hero recognises the Thin Skinned cloak
of vicar Tom Putt who’s muttering
about the indecent, new Nine Square dance,
young Jill’s Limberlimbs and Anthony’s fling.
Our hero and our heroine by Lucombe’s Pine
meet in the garden of Hangy Down left
by Mayor John Toucher. He kneels, proposes,
no care of any Listener in the Long Bit.
Tommy Knight served as our hero’s Best Man,
Tommy Potter smartened up as Page Boy, each
Miss Rawlings tried to catch the bride’s bouquet.
Our heroine prettier than a Winter Peach.
Billy White took all the wedding photos.
She as golden as Butterbox loving
him standing tall and proud as Oaken Pin.
Sidney Strake declared a happy ending.
To share in this happy tale of heaven,
you just have to follow the Star of Devon.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The