"A Year of Few Apples" | by Kirk Judd The red barn mostly barren, Only some thin whispers of Summer Rambos, Pink Ladys, Yellow Transparents, Our Golden Delicious. Ladders leaned closely against stark walls. Past the yard, Black bottoms of unused boxes and baskets Stacked and lined on the dark pond’s banks. Trees naked of fruit. Blossoms ruined by mid-May freeze. No buzzing. No bees. A gaunt doe edging the field. Sparse soft droppings of windfalls. Songbirds fled to feeders In cities and suburbs — Tanagers, Finches, Grosbeaks, Even Buntings. Pantry shelves and freezer bins Scavenged for this season’s solitary pies Settled atop cooling racks On cinnamon evenings In oven-warmed kitchens. Silent cider presses. Dry spigots over unfilled vats. Outside the mill, Empty crates By empty bins By empty trucks. Nothing a day To keep the doctor away. It seemed somehow The end of all good things The year of few apples, But, Then, Came a year of none.
Kirk Judd, founding member of West Virginia Writers, Inc., has lived, worked, trout fished and wandered around in West Virginia all his life. Kirk was a member of the Appalachian Literary League, a founding member and former president of West Virginia Writers, Inc., and is a founding member of and creative writing instructor for Allegheny Echoes, Inc., dedicated to the support and preservation of WV cultural heritage arts. He is author of the poetry collections “Field of Vision” (1986); “Tao-Billy” (1996); and “My People Was Music” (2014), and a co-editor of the widely acclaimed anthology, “Wild, Sweet Notes: 50 Years of West Virginia Poetry 1950–1999.” He is widely published and internationally known for his performance work, combining poetry and old -time music.
NOVEMBER 2021 ISSSUE of WestVirginiaVille.com
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1) EDITORS/NOTE: Allen Ginsberg & Bonfires | The Sky & Eternity | Manchin & Byrd
2) CHARACTERS, PART 1: A music video about how I never slept with Allen Ginsberg
3) CHARACTERS, PART 2: Allen Ginsberg speaks up in West Virginia
4) Q&A: “Where Sky Meets Eternity” documents an extraordinary artistic hand-off
5) POEM FROM DOCUMENTARY: “A Year of Few Apples” by Kirk Judd
6) POEM FROM DOCUMENTARY: “Almost” by Marc Harshman
7) DOGGEREL: “The Ballad of Bobby and Joe“
8) CARTOON: A funny thing happened to Joe Manchin on his way to Heaven …
9) CLIMATE CRISIS: Taking the measure of climate change in three short videos
10) MEMOIR: “Memory of a Waitress“
11) SPOKEN/WORD: “The Cold Visitor,” n Multimedia Poem by Bobby Lee Messer
Q&A: “Where Sky Meets Eternity” documents an extraordinary artistic hand-off: nov4.2021: The documentary “Where Sky Meets Eternity” profiles an ambitious, offbeat art project from deep in the West Virginia hills, as 12 artists bounced off each other’s work in often surprising, unexpected ways.
POETICS: The Art of Being West Virginia’s Poet Laureate: march18.2021: We sit down — digitally — with longtime West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman and quiz him about his “Dispatch From the Mountain State” in the NYTimes and the obligation of a poetry to be the sort of “political being” described by W.H. Auden.
POEM | “The Greats” by PJ Laska: oct28:2020: ‘The Great Tower/ The Great Wall/ The Great Power/ Conquering All/ The Great Look/ The Great Weave/ The Great Assets/ Of Make-Believe … ‘ | A Poem by PJ Laska
CHARACTERS | The “Spark-eyed” Vision of WV Poet Bob Snyder: oct20.2020: Influential West Virginia-native poet Bob Snyder died in 1995. But a new collection of his poetry exemplifies why, says a fellow poet: “Every West Virginia writer should know Bob. At least know about him. You may not ever get the whole story, but this book will help you understand some of it.”
POETICS| An Almost Heaven & James Brown Upbringing: june12.2020: I was raised on Almost Heaven and Hee Haw/Taught to love God and the UMWA/I was an odd little Black girl/Growing up in the coalfields of West Virginia …
PARADIGM SHIFTING: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Life in the Trenches of Poetry: feb24.2021: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s storied life came to a close this Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, at the remarkable age of 101. I was blessed to interview him in 1995. What this “ageless radical and true bard” had to say — not to mention his poetry — remains timely and pertinent.
POEM: “Haymaking”: feb20.2021: ‘We cut, rake, and bale / till the sun goes down and the dew settles on the fields, / then start again next morning once the dew burns off …’