I used to think if I ate an apple core, a tree would grow in my belly – Stephen Daniels

I used to think if I ate an apple core, a tree would grow in my belly

Day 1
A pip nestles in my stomach,
finds a fertile space to settle.

Day 2
Sprouts appear,
show signs of growth.
I send down much needed water.

Day 5
It craves sunbeams
and other apple saplings –
at what point does it become a tree?
They say an apple tree can take 20 years to grow full size.

Day 274
I have these lines
and blemishes on my face.
Lemon trees can develop needing
only a little light. An apple tree cannot mature without
sunlight. My body obliges. As I fall asleep, I feel the bark forming.

Day 4,222
I can feel the branches
rustling around my lungs.
I coughed yesterday: a leaf appeared.
The roots irritate my knees; I woke this morning
and moved too quickly leaving a crick in my neck –
I could hear my twigs snapping. Appetite slows as more apples fruit.

Day 7,300
My skin feels thicker,
rougher. Teenagers often visit,
spend their afternoons kissing under
my cover, carve their initials into my torso
before they depart. My head feels hazy, I struggle
to peer through the blossom in my eyes. I will keep them
closed today. They say apple trees can live for over 100 years – 36,500 days.


Stephen Daniels is editor of Amaryllis Poetry. His poetry is published in numerous magazines and websites. His debut pamphlet ‘Tell mistakes I love them’ (V. Press) was published in 2017, his second pamphlet will be published in 2018 (Paper Swans Press).www.stephenkirkdaniels.com

Rehabilitation – week 6 – Stephen Daniels

Rehabilitation – week 6

take my arm and press, open this door and pull the handle,

pull the handle, pull the hand, drag the door, open, move

and keep hold of hand, let loose grip of fingers, thump

your arms and march, bruises ask questions, of the pressure,

fingers resist, sit down, chair takes weight and force up,

push up, resist upwardly mobile, on the floor, horizontal

legs not upright, and scramble, twist arms, through routine

moves and spin, in a corner and brace legs, from laying,

precise legs, scratched in dust, scrape tiles, take tiles

and prise them, snap tiles, arm in hand, resist arm in arm,

resist, on face and leg on tile, and arm in fist, clutch at door

handles and turn away, toes on tiles, lose grip, toes on tiles,

shove, slip, toes on tiles, slip toes, on tiles, slip.


Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry and Strange Poetry websites. His poetry has been published in numerous magazines and websites. His pamphlet ‘Tell mistakes I love them’ will be published in 2017 by V. Press. Find out more at www.stephenkirkdaniels.com@stephendaniels