Looking Ripe

The NPM Super Poetry Challenge prompt today is #5 – Use the theme of ripening in a poem. I decided to write a Lai. This is a French form composed of stanzas of 9 lines with a strict syllabic count and rhyme scheme. That is a syllable count of 5-5-2-5-5-2-5-5-2 with the corresponding rhyme of a-a-b-c-c-b-d-d-b. Anyway this was made easier due to a story Sparky’s father told about the trouble he got into for stealing apples.

Green apples appear
Announce summer near
Sweet hype
Sun kissed apples hide
Hungry boys abide
Drool wipe
Juicy fruit hangs high
Climbing boy comes nigh
Steals ripe

Holding two full bags
Greed delays and lags
One bite
Farmer guards his crop
Stealing hopes to stop
Gives fright
Turns out dogs to watch
Puts thieves’ plan to scotch
At night

Although I know you liked the poem, I’m pretty sure you want the “rest of the story”! Sparky’s dad was not a child. Nope. He was a supposedly mature responsible adult. However he and his buddies were golfing on a hot day (and there might have been some beer involved). One of them hit a ball that went into the little apple orchard next to the golf course. Not wanting to lose the ball and also thinking it might be a little cooler in the shade of the trees, the foursome went in search of the missing ball. They were delighted to find the ball. They also found themselves surrounded by large, fragrant, and ripe apples. Unable to resist they each decided to pick an apple and eat it on the spot. They agreed that they were the best apples they’d ever had. Although he couldn’t recall whose idea it had been, they all picked apples to take home. Now, Sparky’s dad had 6 kids so he had 6 apples. The other guys had fewer mouths at home but had used their shirts to hold their bounty. Just as they were headed back to the golf course, the orchard owner came tearing into view. They were caught red-handed. The farmer threatened to call the cops but the men offered to pay for the apples. They were each charged a dollar. At the time, that made them the most expensive apples any of the men had ever purchased. Still it was much less expensive than a trip to jail!

32 thoughts on “Looking Ripe

    1. I’m thrilled you like this form! It was a challenge with the rhyme and the syllable counts – but with the lock down I don’t have much else to occupy my time… Sparky is the spitting image of his father in looks and he definitely does have a mischievous streak!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t think I have the stamina for a novel – poetry is about all I can muster! Yet there is probably a novel in me or a novella? Not sure – perhaps just a short story…


  1. Great work, Muri! Lais are a challenge, especially those 2-syllable rhyming lines, but you met it with aplomb! Also a challenge to condense a family legend to a mere 72 syllables. Seems we haven’t changed much since Eve ate the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joan! I like a challenge. My FIL was telling this story just before the lockdown/pandemic put an end to our family ice cream nights. Strange how we find inspiration in the mundane…


  2. It’s fun to think of our staid parents and grandparents as youthful offenders. My mom once admitted that, as a teenager, she had pocketed some cash when she delivered lunches for a restaurant. I was horrified to learn of her larcenous streak. How long does it take to compose a poem like this one?


    1. Ha! My FIL also was an accomplice in the theft of some cigars when he was in grade school. He didn’t get caught but did get deathly ill smoking at recess. The story goes that he decided that stealing cigars wasn’t worth it. One of the other boys was found out by his mother (she smelled the tobacco on his clothes and in his hair) and he was whipped for it but didn’t rat out his friends. This poem didn’t take too long – thought about the prompt for a couple days and then once I decided on the topic and form, I wrote it in an hour. Then sat on it for a day and made some revisions then it was ready to post. Because this isn’t one of the forms I use regularly I had to work the brain a little harder than if I was doing a haiku…


    1. Thanks Kim! I liked the form but it did exercise the gray matter. I’m thrilled you loved this story – he has quite a few that we are slowly getting him to divulge. The way Sparky’s parents met is another cute story – maybe an original “meet cute”!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hilarious.
    Poem is great fun. When I read those requirements, I was sort of dreading a rule-abiding poem (silly me. to doubt the quality of one of your poems). Instead, I discovered a wild romp of a poem story.


    1. Thank tons Carrie! I suppose the 16th century French had a more staid poem in mind but we can make it what we want. There are no rules as to topic or tenor. So if you want to give this form a whirl I’d love to see what your creative mind can do!
      p.s Loved fish poem! BTW the comment on my post should be a link to your poem and the link on your post should be to the looking for a challenge post… That way the people who are here can come see what your up to! Thanks so very much for joining NPM!


    1. Hehe! He is still kicking around and still a legend! I had a great Easter and ended up scanning a couple of cookbooks looking for a good asparagus recipe. Didn’t find one so if you come across one that doesn’t involve boiling…


  4. Ha! I love it – the poem and the backstory! I have completed another prompt. I’ll link it on your challenge post, but it’s also linked on my FB page.


    1. Cool. Having a little insomnia due to Easter dinner. Saw the photo with the two of you in the same house – with masks and distancing! Glad you could be together. The boys visited too – we set up 2 card tables in the garage and sat ~ 10 feet apart.


  5. Good story! They were smart to pay the guy! LOLOLOL I’ve always loved fresh picked fruit. When I was growing up, we had an apple tree and plum tree! And ymmm! Every year, my grandmother made pies, cobblers and preserves out of the apples and plums!

    Fond memories!


    1. I suspect that the farmer was used to thieving golfers pilfering his crop. They probably would have paid even more to avoid having the police involved… This occurred in a more genteel time (when you could get a 5 lb bag of apples for a quarter).

      Liked by 1 person

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