Peter Ewer

Peter Ewer lives in Melbourne, Australia. He has published four books of Australian history, and his articles appear in academic journals in Australia, the UK and the US. He holds a doctorate from RMIT University, Melbourne, and this is his second work of poetry, having previously been published by Outlaw Poetry in February 2018. He thinks we better start taking an interest in the condition of the world, because the planet is dying.

White nectarines

They’re good this year:

Not the tasteless cannonballs of flour

Masquerading as fruit

You get too often,

these days.

No:

Proper fruit for sure this summer

Sweet and yielding,

Miraculous really

Given the industrial apparatus

Clanking fumes and pesticide

That got them to my table

But perhaps it should be said

Not for so much longer

Because they’re dying, you know

The bees on which the trees rely

No-one quite knows why:

Exhausted by mechanical pretence,

I shouldn’t wonder

Whatever (an exclamation for the age, if ever one was apposite)

I bought them for your breakfast

The one that never came:

We expired

Not failed

But ran our natural course

Between the retail act,

And the moment in the morning

When I might wash and quarter

A lustrous scarlet globe

And offer it

Votive

On a white china plate

With a cup of tea

Upon the bedside table

Strange

The tasteless fruit

A silent hive

Of all the barren years ahead

Might have been more in keeping

With the temper of that day

And the solitude of morning