Christopher Cornwell: ‘A Hidden Orchard’



What is it that resides in fruit

that makes them want to come to be;

that despite the cyanide in their seeds,

they recite the psalms of birth again?

and limbs renew their umbels,

and gloat over berries

that resemble beaded wax wrapped

around the base of candlesticks,

lamented off the wick,

            red, black, white

currants all end crushed and seeping.

In the gut, so often,

of happy-for-now, frothed, souse-alive souls

lapping at the tap in summer,

root and cap in service to the molly-drip

cucking and chewing their prickly lips

whilst pulling the hops from bines

that make the drink for Autumn.





Until the apple of October grows an onion skin,

which thinly cracks,

then drops its broken laminate, like brittle plastic peeled

or sun-burnt skin,

baffled to the floor

and trees unduffle leaves,

who, shed too, dustbound, lie

in crisp reticulation

like little maps of lost, gone, cracked and long, long over-written things:

the spaces in the henge;

dendrite mineral-laced coral veins

unwashed fish-lack harbours left abandoned, over-oiled;

or the unfenced ancient hills unfit for homes

but swarmed with cwm.


‘A Hidden Orchard’ is taken from Cornwell’s debut collection, Ergasy, which may be purchased here and here. It also features in Issue 8, which may be purchased here.

Christopher Cornwell lives, studies and works in Swansea, his poetry has been featured in The Lonely Crowd, New Welsh Review, The Lampeter Review and Wales Arts Review for whom he also contributes criticism. He was the featured poet in issue 6 of The Crunch multimedia poetry magazine and is the current head editor of The Gull online magazine. His first collection, Ergasy, is published by The Lonely Press.


© Christopher Cornwell, 2017. Image © Jo Mazelis, 2017.