Apple Picking 4 FullSizeRender

Oh beautiful! Oh Beautiful! God shed
His grace on me, though I was sulking
Mightily, and full of self-pity. Said
I to self, “Self, stop this milking
Pity from the stones. It’s such a crime
And waste of time to make such moans and groans.”

Oh beautiful! Oh Beautiful! The time
Was gray each day, but I knew in my bones,
Deep down, the sun would free its ray; and skies
Of blue and apples red would waken hope
In me, as on the upland slope there lies
A sung eternity. “Self, remove the rope
You make that binds creation’s song,
For nothing God’s made worldly’s really wrong.”

Apple picking 1 IMG_7649

Apple picking 2 IMG_7650



(P.S:  In case you missed the rhythm of the sonnet, it is basically to the tune of “America, The Beautiful”, and outside of the sonnet-form could be written like this:

Oh beautiful! Oh Beautiful!
God shed His grace on me.
Though I was sulking mightily
And full of self-pity.
Said I to self, “Self stop this milking
Pity from the stones.
It’s such a crime and waste of time
To make such moans and groans.”

Oh beautiful! Oh Beautiful!
The time was gray each day,
But I knew in my bones, deep down,
The sun would free its ray,
And skies of blue and apples red
Would waken hope in me,
As on the upland slopes their lies
A sung eternity.

“Self, remove the rope you make
That binds creation’s song,
For nothing God’s made worldly’s
Ever really wrong.”

After a lot of agonizing I left the word “ever” out of the final line of the sonnet form, as a sonnet’s coda requires an abrupt punch. However the word “ever” does belong in the lyrical version.

Sometimes I have to twist people’s arms a bit, but, when I hide a poem in a sonnet in this manner, it is fun to get people to read it aloud. Some catch the rhythm right away,  while to others it is utterly invisible.


7 thoughts on “APPLE PICKING

  1. Are those pictures recent? It has been too cold and snowy for weeks now in the Calgary area to imagine fruit on trees. Looks like fun.
    In the past you have commented on Hudson Bay freezing and then the cold dropping south to put u in the deep freeze. Last nights news showed Baker Lake to the west of HB at -25C …. that should be cold enough to get the water freezing fast. I also noticed some -15C temps just west of Superior and spilling south into Minnesota & I am thankfull the cold that was over us seems to have moved to the east to torment others. It just seems too early for – 10 & -15 C temps.

    • Most perceptive of you; in truth the pictures are from two weeks ago.

      I’m engrossed working on something that has the title “The Novel That Never Was”. I started it because I figured I needed to explain how I came to be typing away in a New Mexico campground. It turned out that I bit off more than I expected, and the writing is taking me down odd alleys off memory lane. Quite a bit of lambasting of California is involved. Not sure I’ll publish it, but it is great fun.

      According to NRL Hudson Bay is flash-freezing even as we speak. The Laptev froze in a hurry as well. I’ll have to do a quick sea-ice post. Both “extent” and “volume” have jumped ahead of last year.

      • Good luck with your novel that never was, Caleb. I do like your sonnet and appreciate the details, as it were, ‘under the hood.’

        God sent us a first snowfall in Penticton, some of my neighbours are looking nervously at the weather reports and want to leave for the south, like migratory birds. We call them snowbirds here. But I’m looking forward to what the seasons may bring.

        I was in Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon where there was a lot of snow which shut down quite of those parks 3-4 weeks ago, but Arches and Zion were sunny and beautiful. You take what you can get, and I did get 25 minutes at Bryce with some clearing and sunshine to take photos of hoodoos with snow on them. Glorious!

        It’s good to see the arctic ice recovering – there isn’t much for anyone to complain about right now, though they will do their best to ignore good reports about sea ice, I expect. Look forward to your observations, as always.

      • I’ve seen -30F on the NW side of Hudson Bay and -10F all the way down to James Bay, so I imagine Hudson Bay must be frozen pretty solid by now. I imagine this is a pretty early freeze, at least compared to recent years.

        Also, there are places in the Midwest that are averaging at least 10 degrees below normal so far in November, with plenty of more cold outbreaks to come. In fact you in New Hampshire may get the coldest temperature ever for so early in the season. Cold and snow in western Europe as well. Global warming appears to have reversed. Time to trot out the Ice Age scare again!

        It has been awhile since you have posted, so I just hope that you are OK.

  2. Earth to Caleb, where are you?

    Saw this great tweet by David Horowitz @horowitz39 yesterday, you might like it
    “I’m just always impressed by how given the fact that we can’t control fires or floods or hurricanes, so many people are convinced we can control the climate of the whole planet and “save it.” Have a little humility please.”

  3. Yikes …. mid -30s to mid -20s C all around Hudson Bay this AM. The water will be freezing fast at those temps IMHO. I fear the cold is headed your way for a winter wonderland thanksgiving. Have a good one despite the cold. Chinooks here in Calgary and I washed the cars in shorts & t shirt yesterday … only about +11 C when I did the washing but us Canucks switch to deep freeze metabolism this time of year (or hibernate) and so I was fine except for the wet feet in sandals and my toes were dang cold by the time I finished. Ten days until skiing kicks off on my hill but we need some big dumps or it will be a nasty opening with lots of rock and shrub obstacles to make the sliding challenging – rock ski conditions for sure.
    Webcam link … picture worth stuff …. bottom picture best illustrates the this coverage

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