Chris Waters

Plums in Lubeck

As for today,
we are picking
plums in Lubeck
from a low branch
of an old tree
in a churchyard.

Professor Death
and his knees-up
troupe once conga’d
this way, sweeping

fur-trimmed merchants
fragrant pearled wives
princes, ploughmen,
philosophers

to the dark hill
on the skyline
where all maps end
and music halts –

But for today
we are tasting
ripe purple plums
from the gnarled tree
in a quiet nook
of the churchyard.
***
The two great bells
from the steeple
which Bach once heard
pealing for the

faithful: shattered
now, crater-deep
from the fire-storm
of 1942 –

flames of history,
from Coventry
to Dresden, ash
and destruction,

Europe’s darkness
and descent, old
tribal murder,
immolation.

Blue-dusted plums
from a laden branch
of a bent tree
in this Lubeck

garden taste sharp
today –but sweet
and utterly
irreplaceable.

ChrisWaters was born and grew up in London. He has worked as a teacher,
musician, story-teller and furniture-maker.His poetry has won prizes in the Bridport, Wivenhoe and Plough annual competitions.
He now lives in Devon
appreciating its flora
and fauna.