Poem – The Dead Apple Tree

Varghese Pamplanil


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The poem below was published in Church Citizens' Voice on 16th April 2016.  It is another facet of the colourful and multi-talented persona of Vargheseji.  He has explained that the allegory of the juicy fruit is about our partners who give themselves to us without reservation. Sir Isaac Newton would have definitely cherished this poem while holding the apples in his hand. Isaac Gomes, Asso. Editor, Church Citizens' Voice.

You lie  forlorn and all alone,

none near you to mourn your passing,

you are reduced to just skeletons,

all flesh denuded and gone,

deserted you are by one and all.


In the  glory days of your youth,

you were a  joy  to behold,

in great splendour, verve and life,

your foliage was fresh and green,

abundant crimson blooms adorning  you,

all branches  laden  with  succulent  fruits,

birds  pecking at  them  in frenzied rush.


I too stood enchanted and in bliss,

caressing the skin smooth  fruits,

feeling  their  youthful, fullness,

in sheer joy, biting delicious flesh,

in mad eagerness, relishing

 and ravaging on and on non-stop

till primordial   hunger  assuaged,

for days, weeks, months   and more,  

you were unselfish, generous to a fault

 unreserved, a bounty seemed  inexhaustible.

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Now I gaze at your uncouth skeletons,

 strewn ungainly everywhere,

soon you will  rot and go,

disappear leaving no  trace at all,

yet you are food for vermin  and  bugs,

sustaining chain of life eons to come.

 An unending saga of birth and rebirth.


Why did you came out to be born,

from the  bowels of earth and grew,

 and bore fruits and withered,

to bare bones and then nothing,

like me who came by  chance birth and,

will  go like the millions preceded,

to where I know not, nor do care,

or worry, even for a while.


They say birth is an accident,

and only death  the  certainty,

nature is but  natural selection,

and life, a dire constant struggle

for precarious existence;  competing

for food and mate, warmth and shelter.

The earth one stands  is but a speck

in endless space, among melting clouds,

and nature is a grim slaughter house,

of  strife and of  warring species,

one creature is  food of  the other,  

for  life and growth;  a life of short duration,  

for  transient hold to pass on genes.

Man is not son of God, but  of strife,

God has fled to the great unknown,

or to  limitless space,  will never return,

Heaven is a  mere sky and space,

an  empty void,  earth a passing thing,

a transient foothold to hence to end,

leaving not a wrack behind, not even

a shadow left; everything a mirage,

moment’s precipitation of brief  duration,  

existence  is of no consequence,

and  a riddle of scant meaning,

random chances thrown up with

no purpose and destiny too.

Then  why the bother and sulk?

 It is no use  to whine and cry.


So  gaze at  setting sun’s myriad hues,

in waves of sea and that come and go. 

Behold   the cherubic  smile and joy,

spreading across  faces of babes,

and cherish flowers of the spring.



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