A full and exciting two days of talks, discussion, learning, walking, foraging, feasting, fire, making, carving, laughing, exploring, sharing, drinking tea. Thank you Loughborough University.

Pressing Apples was written by Paul Conneally using phrases and fragments, thoughts and observations harvested and gathered during Fruit Routes events on Friday and Saturday.

PRESSING APPLES

“hello” she says

“I’m just going for a quick run”

my creaky body

 

a kiss on both cheeks

wet leaves and beech mast

in the hotel foyer

 

what is it with spiders?

their webs

my height

 

twenty big men

in black T-shirts

world experts

 

pressing apples

“it’s not natural” she says

“freezing your eggs”

 

the library

a white van

full of Cornish pasties

 

one kind of luck

or another

crows in a tree

 

odd thoughts and socks

suddenly make sense

 

ash leaves turn yellow first

and stay on the tree

 

pregnant again

Marta tells

of her cravings

sending her husband out

for red apples

 

a late bee

lands on an ivy flower

 

brown oak leaves

in still flowering borage

 

the mould

on an English walnut

can kill you

 

medlars on a branch

their astringency

 

under the ginkgo

l look up through yellow fans

satisfying snaps

as they come off the branch

china in my head

 

leaf veins

red on green

sycamore

 

the leaves

I collected for tomorrow

breathe in their bags

 

squirreled memories

losing myself

in a walnut whip

 

crossing

the brave new alps

humans and nature

 

precarious workplaces

 

before the lecture

a few crisps and a wine

to soften us up

 

wondering why there

are more men at the lecture

than on the walk

 

touching the iceberg

just what’s going on

below the surface?

 

the arts council

doesn’t seem relevant

falling leaves

 

abundance

what’s the exchange rate

for apples?

 

somewhere

over bat alley hedge

the sound of a strimmer

 

calling

the wrong number

magic mushrooms

 

just one gull

on the quidditch pitch

long shadows

 

security barrier

she picks a small

but very red apple

 

re-finding my health

and efficiency garden

weeds and geraniums

 

raking leaves

we discuss the flight

of sycamore seeds

 

glorious gluts

jars of this and that chutney

all round the house

 

he tells me

he’s changed his pink shoes

to stop them getting dirty

 

the midwife

of the orchard

156 fruit trees

 

asked to play

his accordion

he says it’s not

his accordion

the tune the tune

 

entry points

the nervousness of an edge

planted with love

 

a campus

that just keeps growing

how long does a fruit tree live?

 

not the kind of thing

you can pick up from a book

poisonous mushroom

 

200 instruments

from all over the world

and a yurt

 

footballs crashing

against a metal fence

sweet chestnuts

 

her dog sits patiently

through the artist’s talk

cross pollination

 

the pump and tap

the rum runner

a railway arch

 

wait don’t brush

she ain’t heavy

she’s my spider

 

Paul Conneally

Fruit Routes Poet