By Alexis Kienlen:
HOW TO PICK AN APPLE
find a ripe specimen,
gaze at its perfection,
cup it in your hand,
turn the bottom star to the sky.
show the end of the apple to heaven,
let it fall.
“How to Pick an Apple” appears here today with permission from the poet.
Alexis Kienlen is the author of two collections of poetry, 13 and She Dreams in Red. She’s also the author of a biography of a Sikh civil rights activist called Truth, love, non-violence; The story of Gurcharan Singh Bhatia. Alexis lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where she works as an agricultural reporter for a newspaper called Alberta Farmer. From 2001-2006, she was the Literary Editor for Ricepaper magazine, a Vancouver based Asian Canadian arts and culture magazine. She currently writes a weekly literary column for The Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune. Her poetry, fiction and journalism pieces have appeared in numerous publications across Canada and online. She’s currently working on a novel and a new collection of poetry.
Editor’s Note: Today’s poem is vivid and whimsical and whisks the reader away on a brief yet epic journey. Placing us, at first, in the everyday pleasure of picking an apple, the poem turns on the word “turn” in the fourth line. From there we are shifted upward, toward the stars and the sky and the heavens, and are transported from the orchard into the realm of the spiritual, the mystical, the otherworldly. The last line echoes what has been biblically ingrained in the western apple, the fall.
Today’s poem is dedicated to my friend Luis, a faithful reader of this series and a man who knows and loves a good apple.