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Saturday, 1 February 2014

Old Orchard - James Deahl

Old Orchard

         Purdy Country Literary Festival

The water mill’s been gone

three generations, perhaps longer,

but the Moira contains its music.

Frogs have taken over the old pond;

Joe-Pye-weed lines the river’s banks.

The reading over, the poets disperse —

some to the forest, others walk upstream

in search of the beaver dam.

A few apples ripen on the boughs

of an abandoned orchard

despite the late spring, the cool summer.

Mahler could have understood

such isolation while nurturing

his bittersweet 9th Symphony,

a work he would never live to hear,

his health failing, his wife unfaithful.

Mahler finally died never knowing

the great acclaim that was to come.

No one will pick these apples.

They will remain long into November.

If the Moira holds the mill’s song,

truly the silent branches of these

enduring trees embody all the grace

of the extended adagio that closes his 9th.

       James Deahl

         Set in ZenRiver Gardens (Moira River)

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