3 Original Poems by Fever Tree Author, Tim Applegate
Tim Applegate is the author of our newest book, Fever Tree, which comes out on August 2, 2016. But he wasn't always a novelist. In fact, Tim is actually a talented poet who has been featured in numerous publications over the years. "The Stanfields" is a poem originally published in Fault Lines and Drydock and Other Poems (Blue Cubicle Press).
Like many other families of the time,
my mother’s English ancestors were named
for the work they performed, clearing stones
and boulders from the neighboring fields
so the local farmers—landowners—could
plant their crops.
Years ago my cousin Raymond traced
the Stanfields back to the Norman invasion
of 1066, but as I clear our upper acre to plant
a small family vineyard this morning,
little, it seems, has changed. The sun rises
over a tapestry of farms. At the bottom
of the hill a rooster crows, which wakes
the dogs, who start barking.
And as the ghosts of my ancestors
gather in the shade of a nearby maple
to light their pipes and comment on my
progress, I unearth stone after stubborn stone
with a mattock, a shovel, and my hands.
"Prime Rib" was originally published in Cloudbank and Blueprints (Turnstone Books of Oregon).
If you want to be considered a serious writer these days you must avoid, at all costs, sentimentality. So I’m not going to tell you how I finished the prime rib last night by smoking it over a bed of apple wood which had soaked all day in a bowl of warm water, or how the smell of that wood reminded me of the afternoon I strolled through an orchard in southern Indiana with the first girl I ever loved. I’m not going to tell you about the horse I used to feed windfall apples to in Florida either, or the Brittany spaniel that liked to lie in the sun while I pruned out own modest orchard of fruit-bearing trees, and please, don’t even get me started on my Aunt Deej’s apple cobbler. What I will tell you is that our dinner guests were enthusiastic about the prime rib, one even claiming it the finest he had ever tasted, though I wonder now if he really meant what he said or if the smell of that charred wood triggered his own flood of primal memories, which combined with a vintage Cabernet might transform the most stoic guest into the kind of sentimental fool the rest of us, who yearn to be serious writers, pretend not to be.
"The Hoax" was published in At the End of Day (Traprock Books).
It must have been a hoax, the sun
above the steeple, the birds
on their branches, the
voice of a mother in the distance
calling her children home.
It must have been a hoax, a trick of
some kind, how certain people
appeared on certain lawns
at certain hours, the tall ones
in their summer finery
bending down to tousle my hair
while ice clinked in their glasses
and the moon rose over the city
and the woman with the broken shoe
lingered in the wide
shadow of a sycamore, dancing alone.