Illustration: Teresa Tanner, Apple Orchard
Look at it – the round, red, succulent, glowing globe.
Pluck it, twist off its stalk then make it yours.
Feel its silky skin; stick your tongue into its crevice;
Time-travel to Paradise with a special pass.
To chance upon someone biting an apple
Is to see someone at one with the world:
Closing their eyes at a crunch of satisfaction,
Then feeling rejuvenated and cleansed.
According to Nordic folk tales the apple
Holds the secret of eternal youth:
Since it fuels the hippocampus, the brain’s data bank,
With flavonoids, they may have a grain of truth.
As the first of the flowering plants on earth
The apple provided man with food for free.
Capitalism’s divisiveness was nowhere to be seen,
Just nature and its providential mystery –
Whereby a continuous supply of sustenance
Hangs down from the apple tree,
Thanks to its symbiotic relationship
With the communalistic bee.
Through its fragrant petals of soft blossoms
The apple seduces bees to aid pollination;
Then, when mammals ate its seed-bearing fruit,
Its nutrition was to have world distribution.
Likewise the utopian, John Chapman,
Also known as Johnny Appleseed,
Planted apples believing in growing new Edens
With everything man could possibly need.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” –
They contain vitamins A, C and E;
Pectin lowers blood pressure; boron builds brains
And their quercetin boosts immunity.
The liquid inside an apple is distilled
And is served in a germ-free container.
It flushes flesh’s tissue far more expertly
Than stale bottles of supermarket water.
As ripe orchards burgeon with a gorgeous goodness,
With the apples of the earth’s eye,
The sight of the fruit, grown from one tear-shaped seed,
Can surprise you into weeping for joy.
When Newton saw an apple fall from a tree he introduced
A new force to science, namely gravity;
And Cezanne boasted, “I will astonish Paris with an apple”
After painting one with a passionate intensity.
A swing suspended from the low-lying branch
Of an apple orchard’s enchanted tree
Can grant a child such a rich sense of triumph
That its whole life feels destined for glory.
Avalon, the Isle of Apples, is where a wounded Arthur
Was brought to be healed – to Glastonbury –
Ruled by Morgan le Fay, the Faerie Queen, and home
To legendary life-giving apples of immortality.
Merlin the magician sat beneath an apple tree to teach.
A golden apple led to the fall of Greece’s enemy, Troy.
Druids used forked apple branches as divining rods.
To Venus and Aphrodite apples symbolised joy.
To Robert Graves apples were an aphrodisiac:
There was no higher compliment in his eyes
Than that the breath of a beautiful woman
“Is like the steam of apple pies.”
Like red wine and chocolate, apples improve sexual function
By stimulating blood flow to genitals and vagina;
They also contain phloridzin, a lubricating hormone,
Thus apples make the act of love even diviner.
No one knows why the fruit of the tree of knowledge
Was banned by God in the Garden of Eden,
But if it heightened sensuality and made you feel immortal
Then jealous gods would need to see it forbidden.
 Researchers says apples contain phloridzin, a common phytoestrogen that is structurally similar to estradiol — a female sex hormone — and plays a huge role in vaginal lubrication and female sexuality, notably in arousal.