Monday November 1st, 2010

The exercise:

Let us write about: fall in the orchard.

So you can submit local weather pictures to The Weather Network here in Canada, and I finally decided to give it a go last night. I was quite pleased when my very first one made the cut.

NaNoWriMo is off to a good start. I'm already over 2,000 words, but I'm hell bent on equaling my first day total from last year, so the first chapter will go up a bit later.

Between yesterday and today, we've almost managed to get the rest of the subfloor put in - just three small pieces to go! I'm a bit worried about my word count for Wednesday though, since I'm helping a guy we've hired install our windows for most of the day. I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Update: first day's writing is up now.


The leaves are turning,
The apples have gone;
I wander the rows
Hearing autumn's song.

It's time for a rest,
A long wintry nap;
A time for warm soup
And soft wooly caps.

Spring's return will come
Before we're ready;
But for now I stroll
Amidst fall's beauty.


Zhongming said...

Marc – you’re awesome! Jester journey Day One is really a quality work done! Looking forward to Day 2! And that’s a great poem with the great feeling of freedom! :)

Fall in the orchard

As still as clear water
Cold and slight wind blows
Oak tree on the roll
Mountain far below

Leaf turns red
The vineyard looks great
Lying on the field
Eyes staring at the hill

Rows and rows of fruit
Cultivated with apple trees
Before it’s ready to harvest
Enjoy the fall in the orchard

morganna said...

Great job with Day One!

A little bit different with fall in the orchard:

Plop! Another apple down
Proving gravity's existence
Once again.

Greg said...

@Zhongming: that's a very evocative poem, the first verse in particular really sets the scene.

@morganna: Terse but perfectly formed!

@Marc: I will catch up with day one, but today's been manic. Congratulations on getting the picture up on the Weather Network -- is that local to the province, or across all Canada? It's very impressive!
And well done with the subfloor, that's quite an achievement too :) I'm sure the windows will be a piece of putty in comparison.

Fall in the Orchard

The leaves are changing now,
Green giving way to orange,
Yellow and red, and so she stands
At the window, leaning on her cane,
Her face turned to the west,
Watching the sun set.

Weak rays of gold find their way
Through the branches of the trees;
Barely enough to warm her skin now,
But enough to clearly see
-- if only the cataracts would let her --
the orchard where she fell.

She remembers lying there,
Leaves drifting in a chilling wind,
Mounding themselves over her body
Like a blanket. Or a shroud.
Part of her is lying there still,
Even as she turns away to light the fire.

Marc said...

Zhongming - thanks very much :)

Great imagery in your poem, particularly the first stanza.

Morganna - thank you :)

Haha, I like your different take. Very much.

Greg - The picture shows up for anyone who happens to be checking the forecast for Osoyoos, until more pictures are submitted and it's bumped off the page.

That is a spectacular poem. So packed with emotion and beautiful images.

... I bet you could have used all that creativity towards 50,000 words :P

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

He met her in spring.
She was new then,
just beginning to see the world,
full of life!
full of spirit!
full of wonder!
She was shy, unused to this warmth.
Others like him had left her cold,
But slowly she got used to his affection,
and he warmed as she opened to him.

His passion rose in summer.
She had come to enjoy his company,
had started to dress for him.
She colored herself more vibrantly for him,
for his approval.
He had a fire for her,
almost overwhelming at times.
He wanted that they perfect this relation,
but not yet, she said.

She was ready in autumn nightfall,
passion coloring her dress,
ready to seek his warmth.
But he had grown cold.
He had waited too long.
Before long her dress lay tattered,
unable to keep them close.

He left her bare after that.
She pined for warmth,
for comfort,
but the world seemed bleak,
and would be forever.
But soon someone takes interest,
seeing her cold,
wanting to warm her again.
- - - - - - - - - -
Not really sure what this was supposed to be… thinking about trees can get kind of odd for me.

Geez, I'm attempting to personify trees in poor-ish free verse… I must be exhausted.

Heather said...

I remember hanging windows. It was not a fun task. You have right to be slightly anxious about fitting your words in. Still, I have faith that you will manage it more easily than most. I look forward to reading Day 2.
Each step was painful. Arthritis had settled deep into the cracks and fissures of Richard's bones many years ago. Being on the orchard was the only life he knew and the only one he had imagined as a child. It grieved him to watch each of his children flee to a life in the big city. No matter of begging or cajoling had worked to get them to stay. With each child's refusal, he mourned the loss of the orchard as a Perry property more deeply.

Another step up put him within reach of the peaches. He picked them, two to three at a time, and then placed them gingerly into the bucket hanging from the side of the ladder. Another step and another until the good peaches had been picked and the rotten ones hung waiting for the wind to push them off the branches. As he picked he pondered which offer he should accept and what conditions he could put on it.

He took another step up. His eyes were even with the top of the tree. He didn't want to be moved from his home for the remainder of his years. He didn't think he could live among the concrete, planned parks, and carefully landscaped yards that his children preferred. He needed the feel of soil beneath his feet when he walked, the sweet aroma of the peaches in the morning, the sound of wind whipping over the tall grasses in the neighboring prairie to sing him to sleep. It would be humane to ask him to leave.

Nor did he think he could watch other people take over the operations. Big machines would be moved in and the people who helped him harvest would be moved out. He wondered if that could be a condition, at least until those families chose to leave. He'd want them replaced with other warm bodies, but knew it would be too much to ask of the modern farming companies that showed interest in his orchard. He climbed another step with little thought and found himself looking over half the orchard.

God light touched the top of each tree. It was a beautiful sight, stretching on for quite a distance. He wanted to see this blessing fall upon all his trees. he took another step, balancing precariously on the very top of the ladder. God light fell across his face, illuminating him. It was warm, comforting. Wind caressed his skin, kissing his face softly. He heard bird song more sharply without the leaves to dampen the softer undertones. Richard bowed his head, sad that his children were unlikely to ever experience such a moment.

His knees felt weak. Carefully he kneeled down, reaching his left foot out for the step. Placing his weight on the step, he stepped down. A deep exhale and a sudden slip caused him to fall. He lay, looking at the peaches swinging above him, as he bled. The orchard was all that Richard ever knew.

Marc said...

g2 - that was seriously spectacular, possibly my favorite poem of yours. So don't put yourself down for it!

Heather - thanks for the encouraging words. I'm left hopeful that I stopped today at a point where I really want to write what comes next. We'll see though.

Aw jeez, I kept hoping you wouldn't end it that way, but I was pretty sure you would. Fantastic imagery throughout, and the sentiment definitely hit home for me. Lovely.

Watermark said...

A bit late with mine - sorry!
A field of green is starting to tinge
with hues of colour.
Leaves that cringe give in to a fall
in fiery red honour.
It subdues a chill in the air,
a thrill to kill any jolly trace of summer.
Deep crimson, yes sir,
but only just
in mounting mellowness,
the sun sends a dust of rust,
and bittersweet brown and amber.
Look up to a blue that sails over
a change of season

Marc said...

Watermark - no deadlines = no lateness! :)

Love the internal rhymes you sprinkled throughout the poem. I'm always very fond of that technique, but rarely manage to do it myself.

Hmm, I think I need to practice that.