Friday Poetry: Gillian Clarke

I love plums! Green Gages are my absolute favourite. Due to this I have chosen a poem about plums by the Welsh poet Gillian Clarke.



When their time comes they fall

without wind, without rain.

They seep through the trees’ muslin

in a slow fermentation.


Daily the low sun warms them

in a late love that is sweeter

than summer. In bed at night

we hear heartbeat of fruitfall.


The secretive slugs crawl home

to the burst honeys, are found

in the morning mouth on mouth,



We spread patchwork counterpanes

for clean catch. Baskets fill, 

never before such harvest,

such a hunters’ moon burning


the hawthorns, drunk on syrups

that are richer by night

when spiders pitch

tents in the wet grass.


This morning the red sun

is opening like a rose

on our white wall, prints there

the fishbone shadow of a fern.


The early blackbirds fly

guilty from a dawn haul

of fallen fruit. We too

breakfast on sweetnesses.


Soon plum trees will be bone,

grown delicate with frost’s

formalities. Their black

angles will tear the snow.


Gillian Clarke


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