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.