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Sunday 7 October 2012

Plum Crazy (FoodLoose)

Ah, all those plums! The tree was mine --
well, in a sense... and so I thought --
told all my friends -- that all the plums,
those glistening taste bombs of delight,
those shiny-skinned, those waxy hand grenades,
were mine. The basis of my claim was this:
the tree was planted on the day that I was born.
So not to worry if we lost the war,
for none of us would starve. I'd take the plums --
just like the barley loaves and fishes --
and feed whoever came. But there was more:
we had a game. We'd heard about the U-boats
and the North Atlantic run. Seen pictures --
maybe torn from Picture Post -- and found
that we could re-enact the drama with...
Those glorious, golden-red-black-purple plums
were all we'd need. You bit the plum along 
its seam, exposing in your wake -- like
a torpedo makes -- an amber pulp,
grainy, firm and juice filled -- which would squirt.
(The depth charge going overboard, that was!)
And then you'd gently squeeze along its base --
and watch with bated breath until...
the sharp stone surfaced like a wounded submarine.
Another oldie (part of)! I happened to be in the process of taking down and dusting an early poem (version 2: on how the German Luftwaffe gate-crashed my sixth birthday party)when Claudia posted her prompt for Poetics over at dVerse Poets. My original poem can be found (here)


kaykuala said...

You bit the plum along its seam, exposing in your wake -- like a torpedo makes -- an amber pulp,
grainy, firm and juice filled -- which would squirt.

A plum of a poem, Dave! I could feel the squashed pulp oozing saliva, dribbling down the neck. Nicely!


Anonymous said...

An interesting poem, bringing together childhood and the war... I loved that last line. Very well done!

Brian Miller said...

ha, and i bet they dont hurt as bad when they hit as apples...we also used walnuts...for the yellow stain they left...ha...this brought back my own memories of wars among the neighbor kids....smiles.

Daydreamertoo said...

Haha...love the creativity kids have. Who else could turn a simple plum into a smashed up submarine.
Your memories of the war are as vivid as my mum's were.
Thanks for the chuckle Dave.

Claudia said...

oh my...love that plum battle...only boys have such ideas...just saying...smiles

Mary said...

Interesting take on the prompt, Dave. What imaginative 'play' with a plumb. I always love when you work a tale of the war days into your poetry. You must do a chapbook with these!

Scarlet said...

What a fun childhood it was Dave ~ I can see those purple plums flying all over the place during the game ~

Laurie Kolp said...

Plums... yum... this made my mouth water, Dave!

Sabio Lantz said...

Wow, loved that!
Incredibly creative and layered.
Autobiographic: mixing real childhood memories awaiting a voice
with history.
Is this your WWII memories with grandpa, grandma scrapping her knee as you run for cover in a poor excuse for a bomb shelter? Did the plum tree get hit?
A child's memory of war - contrived or real -- they are the child's and now yours. With a message to us all -- in your plum poem.
A true feast. Thank you!

Jan Mader said...

Did I mention that you paint a picture with your words? You are an artist indeed.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love this Dave. The only trouble is that I love plums and we have not had a single one on our Victoria tree this year. Consequently your poem just made me drool for the taste of a decent plum.

hedgewitch said...

I feel like I have both a stomach full and pocket full of plums now--you wove the sombre war element in well, with that feel of childhood too, all very real and excellently presented. Enjoyed it much.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

The title is in perfect harmony with the poem and the intensity of your memory.

Anonymous said...

Ah. This is one of my favorites of yours Dave. I love that little boy pride - the tree that's yours because planted on the day, the feeding of the multitudes, and finally, the re-enactment of battle plumb with gore. Just lovely and poignant. k.

Carl said...

Wonderful Dave. I love these poems based in your childhood during the war. Such an imagination.

Linda said...

A fascinating poem, splendid, Dave.

Dave King said...

Thanks for this - exactly the reaction I was hoping for!

Hi, pandamoniumcat, and welcome. Good to have you visiting and very good to have your comment. Thank you for it.

Ha, well, obviously, we were less extreme with our wars - at that stage!

... and saying correctly, I do believe -- girls have very different! Thanks.

Much thanks for this -- I had been wondering if I was not overdoing the childhood memories bit...

It was fun, yes. Looking back, what most appals me is how much we (my friends and I) ENJOYED the war, even the air raids. I don't remember any fear, even when a V1 brought down the ceiling, blew out the windows and filled the room with plaster dust. As I recall it, it was all great fun - we just went out looking for shrapnel and other bits.

Yes, the memory makes my mouth water at times. We don't seem to have such fruit these days!!!

Hi, welcome and thanks for all this. Love the comment. Yes, it WW11 memories -- though it was mum who scraped her shin. We were compleyely taken in by such war time provisions as the shelter, the stirrup pump, etc, etc. But they did, therefore, raise morale -- the adults' morale!

Thanks for this. So generous!

The Weaver of Grass
So sorry to hear about your dearth of plums. My plum tree was something I treasured, and its memory is still very vivid. I guess it's been the weather that has made yours unfruitful?

Thank you so much for this. It's a useful comment as well as being a satisfying one.

Dave King said...

Much appreciated. Thanks for.

Lovely co0mment, too. Thanks very much. I really value this.

Thanks Carl. Really good to know.

Thanks for kind thoughts. Always very helpful to have.

A Cuban In London said...

A plummy poem, full of lovely juice and ripeness. :-)

Greetings from London.

Wolfsrosebud said...

I had to laugh at the comment about not to worry if we lost the war... and as a child our world is so small... great job

Wolfsrosebud said...

I had to laugh at the comment about not to worry if we lost the war... and as a child our world is so small... great job

Unknown said...

I can picture it out right now. The squeezing of the plum that the delicious juice oozing out from the inside. Your poem surely makes me hungry for plum.

Home Loan Kwinana

Dave King said...

A Cuban in London
Much thanks

Thanks. Yes, I've often had a grin to myself about that.

shawn jacob
Welcome to the blog, Shawn and my thanks to you for commenting. Good to know you enjoyed the poem.