On Slicing a Quince by Steve Xerri



Steve Xerri has been a teacher, musician and designer. He was Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2017 and has been published in numerous print and online magazines. His first pamphlet Mutter/Land was recently brought out by Oystercatcher Press, from whose site it may be ordered http://www.oystercatcherpress.com






On Slicing a Quince










Hefty in my hand, knobbled, lopsided,

with starshaped brittle calyx, flocked

gold skin. Locked within, the acid-sweet

taste of slow-stored summer sun, promised


by the musky fragrance filling the kitchen.

The fruit’s hardness takes forceful working,

almost a carpenter’s knack, to pivot a blade

through the granular crunch and bisect


this descendant of Atalanta’s apple landed here

on my scarred board, revealing the asymmetric

offset of the core, each time slightly different,

the expected cluster of russet pips gleaming 


in the light of day after months of sleep

lodged in their woody capsule. Always

the same end to the story, the sugared flesh

flushing in slow heat to tender carnelian.



Steve Xerri