Neonlit Apples

On the supermarket’s shiny shelves
The apples are laid in rows
To catch the wandering eye of those
Poor hapless shoppers like ourselves.

First on offer is Golden Delicious
By size and colour classified
And regularly bathed in pesticide
Which we are told is not pernicious

But necessary for our health
Carefully guarded by the food purveyors
Who we trust would not betray us
Simply for the sake of wealth.

The other apples that you may see
Are Braeburn, Empire, Royal Gala
Each so alike in size and colour
You’d think they came from the self-same tree.

So few varieties are sold
Just eight or nine throughout the land
And every one insipid, bland
Not as in days of old, I’m told

When apples sweet and juicy grew
Warmed by the sun and washed by rains,
A thousand different names and strains
Of every shape and taste and hue.

Alas such names are not for us:
Peasgood’s Nonesuch and Kent Hogshead,
Hagloe Crab and Michaelmas Red,
Monstrous Pippin and Ramping Taurus.

Both Bloody Turk and Slack-my-girdle
Have failed to clear the market’s hurdle.
We seem to be stuck with Golden Delicious,
It tastes like paste and it’s not nutritious.

by Pete Crowther

Comments (4)

I've been wondering what ever happened to my apple pies, and now I know. Since Eve tasted the apple and shared it, people have complained about that fruit...and you did a great job making fun of the apple 'industry.' Raynette
An interesting, amusing, and informative poem, Peter. Well done. Makes me glad I buy my organic Granny Smiths at the farmers market or food coop. But now I want to try those other varieties you mentioned. Would they be considered heirloom apples?
Absolutely spot on Peter, this is another one of my (many) gripes at food production, thankyou
You take the pippin for this joyous crab-apple of complaint, Pete. Surely a grafting of Ramping Taurus and Slack-my-girdle could shake the Garden of Eden itself!