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).

THE STANFIELDS

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).

 

 

 

PRIME RIB

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).

 

 

THE HOAX

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.