Anne Irwin lives in Galway. She studied English and Philosophy at NUI Galway a long time ago. She finds inspiration for her poetry in nature, homeopathy and life. She has three sons and six grandchildren. Her work has been published in many magazines including Skylight47, ROPEs Literary Magazine, Irish Left Review, Galway Literary Review, The Sea, Emerge Literary Review, High Window, Boyne Berries and Poetry Bus. She was guest speaker at Over the Edge, Northwest Words, An Beal Binn Festival and O’Bhéal.
Ode to an Orange
How dynamic your complexion.
How energetic your attitude.
A welcome contrast to the cold,
crunch of apple on sensitive teeth,
the zing of overripe berries
or the saliva mobilizing, brain freezing,
bitterness of lemon.
How we obsess with inventions
to extract your sap: the pulper
the glass squeezer, the nutri-blitzer,
liquidiser, crusher, blender.
How many knives have fastidiously slit
your waxy coat north node to south,
revealing your pith covered globe,
your segments carefully separated
each a pocket of juicy balloons.
Sometimes carefully transect ed.
Sometimes your coat thumbed off
your stingy skin wedged under nail
dribbling sticky syrup down fingers.
But you are no succulent mango
no gentle squeeze releases fragrant scent
no luscious golden flesh, rich. exotic.
waiting to be plucked.
How many ports have you seen?
How many mornings have woken
to the tangy zest of your sunshine?.
How many sailors
sink their lonely teeth into your flesh
dripping your juices down their salt dried throats?
Oh Orange you are ancient.
You who, in the Zhou Dynasty,
graced the emperors’ table,
have become common now:
piled high in every fruit bowl,
supermarket, green grocers’
and corner shops.
Orange! You are still radiant,
growing fat in glowing sun
under clear Oriental skies,
your thick leaves protecting
in orchard rows from then to now.
© 2019 Anne Irwin