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One day I shall sleep

in the shade of an orchard

where wisdom has grown

unnoticed. An apple falls

releasing a thought.

Surprised, I recall how

old laws are discovered.


There are rich pickings

for hens round rough trunks

of old sagging apple trees

acquainted with gravity.

So here I will sleep

like a satisfied scientist

with new knowledge.


Orchards are peaceful places, especially on a sunny early autumn day.

Perhaps the awareness that the year is drawing to a close, finding fulfilment in all this fruition suggests that work’s been done.

Or maybe it’s even something to do with that unnoticed sense of gravity pulling one down which Sir Isaac Newton claimed he encountered in his orchard.

One way and another, this is a time and place of rest.

For us, as well as apples...

For me, to sit against an apple trunk, or even lie, and think of nothing very much is indeed restful.

On the other hand for Newton, it was more likely the beginning of a massive – dare I say weighty? – piece of work. His orchard with its falling apples set him off on a trajectory of discovery of new knowledge, and of ancient laws.

As for the apples, they quietly continue to grow, just as unnoticed as the laws of gravity were before Newton started thinking that day in his orchard.

And, in their own time, they fall; being subject to gravity, they end up on the earth.

Their trees too – they themselves sag, or even assume the horizontal.

As for me, I too find myself drawn downwards, leaning comfortably, my thoughts released and falling to the ground. Not a bad place to fall asleep, whether or not I’ve managed to discover any new knowledge.

I hope Newton found satisfaction, and that he slept soundly.


  1. I enjoyed picturing you under the apple trees, pondering time and gravity.

    1. Lovely. Your poem provokes the thought: drooping, sagging, lying down to rest…also has its laws. There is a downward psychological pull. Differently , we meet Sir Isaac again! to ponder this other law. Under the same shady apple tree! Best wishes and thank you dear poet Richard. Harbans Nagpal.


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