Monday September 30th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the picker.

Kat has been taking Max to StrongStart here in Osoyoos a couple days a week recently and this morning I went along with them. We didn't stay very long, thanks to Max's mid-morning nap, but I could definitely see why he enjoys it so much.

Speaking of the little one, he seems to have picked up the third cold of his young life. So if I'm incoherent due to lack of sleep for the next couple of weeks, that'll be why.


The orchard was filled with the rustling of leaves as a gentle breeze meandered its way across the property. I watched from the house, morning coffee in hand as I daydreamed about the coming end of the season.

After unusual bouts of damaging weather and more pests than had ever been seen in our area before, winter would be a welcome respite. A chance to refuel and come back strong the following year.

I suppose it was due to this distraction that I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at first. Later I would realize that the neighbour's trees were perfectly still, that the clouds overhead were equally motionless.

No, it wasn't until the apples began to detach from their branches and float into the waiting bins that I knew the day I was commencing would be a far cry from typical.


Greg said...

StrongStart certainly sounds interesting, and I'm amazed that you've got something you can take Max to give how young he still is. That's definitely a good government you've got for that kind of thing! Although, equally, it might be where he keeps getting all his colds from... ;-)
Well done on the latest batch of comments, by the way! I'm considering risking Angry Marc's invoices. :-P
Heh, this is the second time recently you've presented a piece that had me wondering if it was fact or fiction for a while. I was suspicious earlier this time, but it was still a little surprise when I reached the end of the third paragraph. Your picker appears to have the kind of help you can only dream of!

The picker
Cold light illuminates the bleachers.
There's a storm on the way,
clouds gather, water-heavy, iron-grey;
colours seem washed out already.
The grass, dried and fried
over the course of a long summer
has a crop-circle in it across the pitch.
Lightning strikes and in the negative after-images
there's a man standing
where there was no man before.
Coach kneels abjectly on the floor.
"Are you... are you the one they call the picker?"
His voice trembles with hope and terror.
"I think there's been a clerical error."
The man is laughing and he's reaching out,
Coach is caught by the throat: he cannot shout.
"I'm the one they call the Pickler."

morganna said...

Sorting through the poems
Here a good one, here a bad one,
Here one that needs more work,
The picker chooses the chapbook poems.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, some of that daydreaming going on in the story may have been my own :P

Fun, spooky scene. Particularly liked the lightning strike arrival of our mysterious guest.

Morganna - hmm, that sounds like a job I should do at some point.

Maybe if I ever catch up on all these comments...