Ladies In Waiting

Waiting on Words


For Magpie Tales prompt #30


Hermit bites into apple
fallen from tree
with gnarled limbs
like arthritic fingers
of ancient Prophet
who spoke
of  forbidden fruit
that children gift
to teacher who lives
in curved roots
at base of Tree
of Knowledge
of Good and Evil.

Finds no worm
in crisp flesh
between teeth, fresh
and moist with sweet
juice that sluices
off her chin. Looks
up at sky to see
birds flying South,
tongues clean taste
within her mouth,
then saves those seeds
in string-tied pocket
along with other thoughts
for future planting.

Elizabeth Crawford  9/2/10


  1. I am new to poety. I read this and then re-read it. I need to comment on it later because I need to let it marinate with me for a while. I will be visiting your blog.

    • Thank you Kristen for being honest, I have done the same or similar things, and I am not new to poetry. I’ve been at it for over 25 years, and somedays, it’s like looking at all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle turned upside down and blank. Hope you do return,


  2. signed .............bkm

    oh what a sinful fruit…so much to give – to keep for further planting…very nice…Magpie…bkm

  3. Hi bkm, glad you like it, so many things went through my head when I saw the image that it was a bit of choice which to go with, decided to go with several.


  4. You covered apple lore from a sustaining food, to a gift to a symbol of lost grace in an easy to read poem, but it was the last line that made it great: “along with other thoughts
    for future planting.” I agree with BKM.

  5. Thanks Stafford, it came so fast, that I had to laugh when it was finished. It does cover a lot of ground, but then, I have always liked apples.


  6. I agree with the sentiments expressed earlier. You really nailed it with those closing lines. Really enjoyed this one.

    • Hi Martin, glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping and commenting,


  7. so much hangs on a simple fruit like an apple.
    You have described it beautifully.

    • Friko, thanks so much for stopping by, and I agree, we’ve placed a lot on that one piece of fruit, making it the original temptation to sin, and the cure all if eaten one a day. Amazing.


  8. Ah, plant the seed of thought. And civilization, apparently. Sweet.

    • JeffScape, thanks for stopping and yes, I thought those seeds of thought might be picked up by a passing bird and could possibly travel around the world, or at least to the windshield of some stranger’s car, lol.


  9. Nice read – the final stanza is superb!

    • Tumblewords, thanks. I thought it was a bit of a leap, but those were the images that were dancing in my head, so I went with them. I’m glad that the prompt was just a bit fun today. It’s been a really crazy week. Thanks again for stopping,


  10. I like the crispness of the pared down language which matches the crisp fruit.

    • Jinksy, the word ‘sin’in its original form means ‘missing the mark’. I assume that means the mark of divine perfection. Apples are so compact with what they offer, that I actually was trying to capture that reality with my many words, hopefully meaty but sweet, as well. Thanks for noticing.


  11. Helen

    Enjoyed the thought of seeds as thoughts … nicely done!

  12. Thank you Helen. I often think of my thoughts as seeds in need of planting and occasional watering. The harvest can be wonderful. We used to press apples in the fall and the wonderful blend of different types made an incredible juice that my son used to sneak from the pantry and keep in his room, until he’d finished the entire quart jar. When I think of that, I laugh, because my thoughts blend and sometimes make wonderful cider, lol.


  13. systematicweasel

    An excellent magpie! =)


  14. Thank you Weasel, glad you found something worthwile.


  15. Love “sluices”!!

    • Yes, it does, and aren’t we happy to partake?


  16. i love hte word sluice….and saved int eh pocket to be planted later along with other thoughts…nicely played magpie!

    • Thank you Brian and I particularly like that word myself. Needed a rhyme and that’s what came into my mind and didn’t go any further.


  17. Lovely poem!!!

  18. Thank you Gabriela, glad you liked it. And thanks for stopping in and commenting,


  19. Gnarled limbs, forbidden fruit, Tree of Knowledge – I love how you’ve incorporated all this in the first verse, and the saving of the seeds in the second. Great poem.

    • scribblenpaint, thanks for you thoughts, are they seeds, you carry in your pocket? I had fun writing this one. It came fast with a lot of images, the only thing that was slow was me trying to keep them all straight. lol, thanks for stopping and commenting,


  20. Dear Elizabeth,
    Sometimes there is no need to analyse poem. Just let the words roll in the mouth for good measure as they rise to the surface with an astounding visual.

    That is what happened to me here.

    • Yes ninotaziz, sort of like eating a really good apple after abstinence, isn’t it?


  21. great poem-especially like the last few lines!

    • Thanks Kathe, and glad you liked them. Sometimes those last thoughts are worth the trouble, yes?


  22. well done,
    love the rhymes.

    • Jingle, it took me a while to think in rhymes, making connections as I was actually writing. Now, it seems to come with some amount of ease and it adds so much music to the poetry. Thanks for stopping,


  23. Beautiful poem! I know just what you mean by holding thoughts for future planting.

    • Thanks Angie, I also like the idea of holding maleable thoughts within, waiting for them to connect with other similar elements, then planting them for future harvest. I do that a lot, lol, and it is a very fruitful endeavor.

      Cider, anyone?


  24. love the voice in this, really awesome. i think the stinted rhythm was cool.

    • Patience Ray, I had to go back and reread the poem after reading your comment. Stinted rhythm is so right on. As I said above, this came fast and the images just kept piling up quicker and quicker. That is reflected when I go back and read it now. Thank you for that one.


  25. nice magpie elizabeth.. really liked your closing lines “with other thoughts for future planting”.. the whole has been designed beautifully..

    • Thank you Abhilasha, have to smile at that. I had so many thoughts and images when I saw the prompt, that I knew they all couldn’t fit. No place to go but into my pocket for planting later. Thank you very much for your comments, especially the one on design. I like that a lot.


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