Forbidden Fruit ~ with audio

Forbidden Fruit

Nothing like the birch, its slender height
bowing with the wind, its white skin peeling,
even floating delicately, your mother stands firm,
sometimes stout, spreading her arms in a canopy
that bears you, offers your delicacy to the world.

And what a delicious fruit you are. Sweet
or tart as any temptress could be, you cling
to the branch offering you, retaining a stem
that measures the promise you hold
with each twist. Each turn brings a luster
to your skin that seduces even as you blush
at the mere touch, inviting that first kiss.
Whether soft or firm, the flavor of your flesh
does not disappoint, is relished to the very end.

Ah, but then your connection to birch sets in
as you tickle my throat, and then my ears,
until I feel an itch even stronger than that
which tempted me to know your taste,
my tongue and throat swelling, begging
for relief. I resign myself to knowing
my sensitivity means you must feel
a fire inside of you, but isn’t it fitting
that it satisfies my passion for you,
your sweetness even richer as cobbler or pie?

Oral allergy syndrome is a reaction to the proteins in certain foods that mimic those in a pollen that causes allergies. My reaction to certain raw fruits and nuts (walnuts, almonds, apples, cherries, peaches, etc.) indicates that I am allergic to birch pollen.

The prompt for Day 24 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month
at is to write a descriptive poem about a fruit.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Childhood Memories ~ haibun

Childhood Memories

Many years after my mother’s passing, I got a hankering for her apple cake. I remember it as a single layer of spice cake in a rectangular pan, with apple slices upright in three rows, from end to end. I searched online for apple cake recipes, and ended up combining two recipes to get a cake that tasted just as I remembered, but with the apples stirred into the batter.

My mother always baked from scratch, and it finally dawned on me to ask my sister if she had my mother’s recipe. She sent a photo of the original recipe card, and there were distinct differences from my final recipe, so I didn’t waste any time trying my hand at the original. It had been fifteen years since I’d had my mother’s apple cake, but I knew I would never forget that taste.

Unfortunately, mine did not taste the same, and it occurred to me that my mother had made that cake since I was a child, and she probably hadn’t bothered to look at that recipe for years and years. Fortunately, I came up with a recipe that reminds me of her cake, so now I’ll try making it with the apple slices in rows. Maybe I can pass that recipe on to my children.

childhood memories
rows of fruit trees in orchard
apple falls from tree

This haibun is my response to Poetics: Looking for Sustenance from Lisa at dVerse.

Image: Apple orchard in Olcott, Niagara County, New York, October 2010

waves pass beneath the branches ~ tan renga

waves pass beneath the branchesOne apple alone
in the abandoned orchard
reddens for winter
               © Patrick Blanche

 waves pass beneath the branches
gentle wind stirs waist-high grass

Carpe Diem’s Tan Renga Challenge September 2018
Chained Together III (6) An Apple, Alone
(Add to the provided hokku by Patrick Blanche – tr. Michael R. Burch –
to create a tanka)

 Here’s the original haiku in French:
Une pomme, seul
dans le verger abandonné
rougissent pour l’hiver

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Paul Ranson’s Pommier aux fruits rouges (Apple Tree with Red Fruit)