In the cool of the evening he laid there basking
as my fingers touched the gleaming surface of the pool.
Deeper i penetrated till my hand was beneath him,
slowly my fingers engaged his slithery belly,
then gently with a slight single movement
to and thro, then up and down
his whole body fully relaxed as he rolled a little
to accommodate me.
As he laid there his eye and my eyes connected
each of us wondering no doubt what the next move would be,
while carefully not to let my nose which was just above the surface
play any part in this my devious quest.
Suddenly a water skater bug came floating by
and decided to explore my nostril,
at this point making me sneeze, the force of the blast
sending the bug careering on to the surface.
In a flash swallowed by my impending supper
who then scurried away to the safety
of the rocky bed of the creek,
to become King Trout for another day.
Harry J Horsman
The dog seen a rabbit and how he did chase
to catch that little critter and boy what a race
But one thing that rabbit knew as he ran away
he was not going to be lunch for that dog today
Around the tree and into the bushes he went
the dog was right after that little rabbit's scent
the dog was so busy that he never did see
that big old hornet nest way up in the tree
running and barking and making a sound
made all the hornets start buzzing around
They all made a dive and together they flew
when they hit the dog he knew he was through
He made up his mind right there and then
he would never go chasing that rabbit again
They organized a church bazaar,
To raise money for the poor.
A booth for selling chances
Was set up, outside the door.
When I bought the raffle ticket,
My reasoning was murky,
And I could only just believe it,
When I won that doggone turkey.
Now, the kids were all excited
When we brought the critter home.
So we placed him in the barnyard,
Where he'd have lots of room to roam.
Since the date was late October,
I'm quite sure you understand,
That to have him for Thanksgiving
Was my awe inspiring plan.
Well, the turkey was no birdbrain,
As I was very soon to find.
That bird knew what I was thinking;
Why, I declare, he read my mind.
I let the children care for him,
To my most profound regret--
He turned on his charming manner,
And, quickly, he became their pet.
But that fact did not deter me,
I told myself it didn't matter.
I was dead set and determined
To see that gobbler on a platter.
When the kids perceived my purpose,
They turned on the tears and pleas.
Then, the wife joined in their chorus,
And that brought me to my knees.
So I told my grieving family
They could dry up, and relax.
I concealed my disappointment--
Went and put away the axe.
Came the dinner of Thanksgiving,
Not a sad face could be found.
And our live Thanksgiving turkey
Was the gladdest bird around.
We gathered around the table,
And I humbly asked the blessing--
While Tom gobbled down his corn, outside,
We had hotdogs and dressing.
Sa kisame ng bahay, itong si Butiking Pasas
Ay minsang nakipaglaro sa kanyang mga KAIBIGAN
Kanyang inaliw, mga pakpak na kumikinang, pumapagaspas
Binola ang bawat lipad na kay panglaw
Habang sa isip, may nabubuo’t nakaambang kalokohan
Tila naiinggit sa kanilang kakayahan
Nang hindi na sila nakatingin, tumalikod lang saglit
Nagsimula ng ibuka kanyang mapinsalang bunganga’t bibig
Nilantad matatalas na dila, na may malaasidong laway
Na tutunaw unti-unit sa kanilang katauhan
At sa isang kisap mata, dila’y pumulupot, sumalaksak,
Nilunok, nilamon sila ng buong-buo, walang kamalay-malay
Sila’y kinitil, nalinlang ng mga matatalim na SALITA,
Kawawang mga KAIBIGAN…
Kanilang magagandang LAMANG LOOB…
Tuluyan ng nawasak, nalusaw
Morning light fills in the details
hidden by last night's new moon.
His pillow bears no dent, seems colder
than the draft that she needs to find
and fix, soon, before winter sets in.
It means going into the workshop,
poking through sticky, old drawers,
a territory that was never truly hers.
She must find the caulking gun and try
not to stare at that festooned hat,
the once well-cared for fishing gear
robed in cobwebs, a calendar unturned,
bowling trophies, an empty chair,
one model schooner never finished.
She pours a mug of coffee, though she
prefers tea, slowly steeped in a proper
pot, loose leaf oolong, nicely cozied.
His mug is too large, too practical, too grey,
and her small hand is more familiar with
English bone china, roses and ribbons,
the romantic pattern of their days.
There is a slight dip in the kitchen floor
as though he is still standing by the stove,
as though the tiles hold onto him, too.
Thirty years of omelets, his way-
polish sausage, spanish onion,
over cooked, over salted.
She expects to hear
the whisk, his voice, laughter.
Weekends they'd shop at the market,
Farm fresh eggs, he'd said, were best,
worth the trip and he'd indulge her
love of something sweet or
surprise her with marmalade,
clover honey in tiny jars.
She opens the fridge door, takes out the
cream and settles for toast with jam,
thinks about canceling his subscription
to Sports Illustrated, Rod and Reel,
but decides to wait until tomorrow.
She sees the egg carton, reads:
brown. free run. flax fed.
Some chickens just have it good,
he'd said. Oh, he'd said that often.
She stills and her shell breaks
as she notes the best before date...
Two months have passed since
her world expired.
Within these walls…
Fragrant aura of comfort
Freshly washed baby hair and sweet breath;
Passed around in soft pink pajamas
Laughter and wit from older minds;
Even though the stories are well used
Awkward ramblings of youngsters;
Still testing their wings
Warm delicious wafts of seasoned meat
And sugared pies
From a kitchen full of women;
Sharing recipes and secrets while sipping Chardonnay
Rambunctious giggles from upstairs;
Playing children’s games in pretty clothes
While piles of coats, hats, and purses
Sleep soundly on the guest room bed;
Along with one gray tabby cat
Crisp fallen leaves dance with shimmering snowflakes,
The first of the season
In a chilly November breeze
Just outside the door;
Painted a vibrant red
Illuminated by glowing amber post lamps;
Stalwart sentinels for our
Within these wonderful walls
It Takes A Whole Village to Raise a Child: The Farmer
It has been said that it takes a whole village
To raise a child; How does a farmer help
Families raise the children?
Farmers live near the village; and together,
Everyone helps raise the children.
How do they help?
The farmers near the village grow food to sell.
They plant, tend, and harvest vegetable crops.
Veggies: lettuce, beets, cucumber, and tomatoes
Collard greens, cabbage, onions, and potatoes
Green beans, artichoke, peanuts, the list and work
Goes on and on and on—
Farmers hire many workers to harvest their many crops.
Products are then, sold and sent to many vendors.
Although there are still some independent farmers,
Some farmers, like those in olden days, grow on rural farms.
Families, men, women, and children working together,
Using hoes, beasts of burden and hand plows to work the soil.
Children helping along side watching adult examples—
However, these days, big agriculture businesses own farms.
They use huge machinery to operate their many acres.
Food producing farms: planting and harvesting to feed masses.
Their products, like smaller independent farmers’ products,
Are sent to markets in their homelands and abroad.
In the process of providing food and cotton for people,
Agriculture businesses and farmers alike set examples.
Good or bad, the children watch wide eyed
And ears perked!
Germ-free Mason jars, hot from the pot of boiling water, gurgling on the cast iron wood stove, stood ready to receive the fruits and vegetables, fresh from the fields and orchards. Lids and sealing rings locked in the freshness. Mama, in her apron skillfully flavored the veggies as she prepared for meals months ahead. The old pressure cooker hissed as it played its part in preserving the bounty of the family farm. Preserves, jams and jellies, sealed in wax, filled the cupboard just waiting for future hot buttered biscuits.
Peeling, dicing, chopping, pickling were all part of the process that brought kin from far away to socialize and join in preserving food for times when the land rested and awaited the start of a new season.
Outside, Sauerkraut (layer of shredded cabbage, layer of salt,) repeated and compressed, awaiting fermentation filled the depth of a Crock on the front porch.
These glimpses of the times that are all but gone will remain with me forever. Life was tough at times but love was the balm that treated the abrasions of near poverty. And the tender touch of those who came for “Canning Days” was felt until the last jar was consumed. God’s bounty awaited, and next year’s promises stood always before us.
Written by: John Posey 10/21/13
Inspired by Canning Colors,
A poem by Donna Jones
What was better than pumpkin
pie stuffed in my eye? Nothing
more than a burger and a fry..
That's why I wonder why?
If pancakes are great at
breakfest time? A sandwich
is great at lunchtime?
A spaghetti a great meal at
dinner time? But what was
better than just old fashion
ham on rye? Nothing more
than a burger and a fry..
Lunchtime Poetry by Kim Robin Edwards
Copyright 2010,2014..All rights reserved.
I'm like a one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood sto'
I'm like a one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood sto'
Well I can look at you and tell you ain' no child no mo'
A few interpretations for this visually challanged and rather paranoid creature:
Still makes me hungry just don't LOOK good as it used to or
Still smells good, just ain't sure what I'm SMELLIN' no more or
Don't LOOK good as it used to, Don't SMELL good as it used to and
Definitely don't TASTE good as it used to or...
I was born that way, so what? or
Used to have two, now I only got one and
That's all you need to peep with anyways and
I think that's all you got left too so...
Let's put our eyes together on this thing and
Let's sneak over there and tom-peep that hole and
You peep on the women seafood and tell me about it and
I'll peep on the men seafood and tell you about it and...
Wait a minute here, something's not...
No, no I'm not gay! I swear I'm not!
I know by the above verse it might appear that way but
I swear to god! I swear to god I never...
Alright now, this has gone JUST ABOUT FAR ENOUGH and
You can't hardly tell them apart anyway and
The men don't even have one...they just kinda sprinkle, you know and
The rest just...How do I know? Well I-uh...read it somewhere and...
Oh, just kiss my big you-know-what! and
Wait!...I-I mean...if you're a FEMALE fish you can or a lady uh...
Oyster? Or girl crab or ..Hey, stop that!...Ow!
I didn't say...Ouch! Why you!...(Sigh) let's try this again, shall we?
Sorry folks...Just had to get this out of my system...Hope you think it's funny and
What?... WELL!! Kiss my-my uh...Elbow!...yeah, that's it! My elbow...
Bill Haley and the Comets became rich and famous for doing a 'sanitized' version of this song in 1954... Big Joe's original was considered too suggestive and sexual for white audiences...
Second verse for example:
'Way you wear those dresses, the sun come shinin' thru
Way you wear those dresses, the sun come shinin' thru
I can't believe my eyes all that mess belong to you'
(In 'proper' English: THE way you wear those dresses)
O B E S I T Y
Before forbidden words dawn to confess
Come... Uncoil your taste-buds for me
Entrust you health fully to thee
Enamored beyond possible reproach
I opened my mouth for crumbs of tasty
Crumbs later become spoonfuls
Spoonfuls turned to one, two, three plateful
Appetite feast in crescendo of daily treats
Boosting my body: front and rear - pound per pound
My clothes then groan: a cri de couer
Yet, desirous mouth craved for more and more
Eating up to the crust and core of everything
Months passed, Bigger! BIGGER, I come to be.
'Til even walking and standing, I can't do
My room - my only day and night intimate boo
My children, I robbed tardily of their joys
As their focus and attention divided by two
Fats stored everywhere on my bod
Gradually they are killing me - stealing my breaths
An oxygen via prongs must be on beside to help me breathe
My back an archipelago of aching ulcer...
Comestibles become my sweetest agony
Breaking me and my dignity so gently
Obesity then my heavy tumbling story
© O. E. Guillermo
10:51pm, Oct. 17, 2014
I remember back when times were simple. You could have your milk
delivered to your door. One of my favorite memories was waiting for the
Helm’s bakery livery to drive slowly down our street, alerting us with his
musical whistle. Specially built Chevy suburban panel wagon’s, bright
and shiny yellow, contained the most heavenly scents of do-nuts and
cinnamon swirls, rolls and breads to delight the most discerning. Our driver,
we called by name, would stop, get out of his seat and come to the back to
open double doors to the smiling faces, of usually about three or four neighbor
kids besides my sister and myself. The most difficult part was trying to decide
what delicious pastry we would put on our monthly tab. Fine wooden drawers
with glass windows let colorful do-nuts peek through. We would get our usual loaf
of potato bread mom would tell us to buy, but then, quite often we were treated to
a glazed jelly do-nut or a chocolate covered cream filled éclair. Mmmmm my taste
buds tingle at the fond memories. Those succulent delights would be out of the bag
and into our mouths before we hit the front door. By the time we got inside all that
would be left would be little pieces of sticky wax paper and our gooey little hands.
As I recall those happy memories of the late ‘50’s, my only regret is that I am sorry my
children were not given the thrill of hearing “Here comes the Helmsman”, let’s beat feet!
© September 12, 2012
I am Corny Dog Man,
the fave Super Hero in all the land.
My main mission is to hand out free
cornmeal-batter covered foot long
hot dogs skewered on a stick
to every hungry girl and boy
in the whole wide blessed world.
My sidekick Honey Mustard Girl
is always right by my side
with the sweet tasty dip
for more added enjoyment
for all of my myriad of kiddie fans.
Never fear kiddos, I’ll be there to
make sure one and all will receive at
least one yummy to the tummy meal
before I fly back to Junk Food Paradise to
refill my Biggie Boy Backpack with many more
foot long corny dogs for your eating pleasure.
Ti’s at the beach I bury my feet,
an inch deep in fine white sand,
That coats the beach like enamel,
does teeth for reasons inconcrete,
While watching the breaking waves,
I noticed a pod of quails,
Trying to crack open a coconut!
I said to myself, ‘they must be nuts’,
They can hardly leave a dent,
on the coconuts' robust shell,
So I approached them and auctioned my arms for rent,
they told me ‘no’ and that I should ‘go to hell’,
What rude birds they are,
with that attitude they can ne’er go far,
My guess is they’re experiencing stress;
why else would they be manner-less?
I decided to forgive them,
after all what good is holding a grudge in this realm?
So I approached them again
‘n auctioned my arms for rent,
they replied, ‘we’re sorry we didn’t mean to rant,
It’s just that we’re hungry,
and this coconut has proven to be quite the adversary,’
Poor birds, they seemed to have not eaten in days,
but they must be plagued by craze,
To choose a coconut over a piece of bread,
if this persists they’d surely be dead,
What has the world come to?
This deprivation of sanity is surely one to rue,
‘Should I leave them to their doom,
and watch them die at half past noon?’
For doing nothing would save me time,
which I would wisely spend to cure Lyme.
Written by Sunil Rao.
Yes, the time had allowed another opportunity to be near you,
Though well heaven knows whenever you are near my fear crunches my breath,
Leaving me starving for you, and wanting nothing more than to flee…
I stood in line, mainly because my family was there…
God knows I was not hungry at all…
Which is odd—I’m usually always hungry when I come to food gatherings
But there I was, my stomach swirling, and I looked out of the window,
And I saw you with the others, serving the food
My first thought was, great, here’s an opportunity,
And then the fear came—oh boy, what are you serving?
Are you serving something I like?
Something I hate?
So I closed my eyes and opened them again…
And I looked at what you were serving…
It was either macaroni salad, or potato salad; wasn’t quite sure at the time
I was more intrigued by how you presented yourself,
So friendly…so easy-going….so very natural and engaging
Damnit! The line is moving fast!
I cringed at the thought of approaching you,
Even when I was following all the others;
And I knew you couldn’t be left insinuating-
Oh, that girl’s kinda weird and creepy…
I guess you’d only think that if I went to the table for the third time or something-
But still, I was shaking with stupid thoughts
There was a problem though…
I do like macaroni salad… well, a little bit--I've never loved it
And I’m rather sick of potato salad frankly…
So if I refused the food, would you think it’s just another way to avoid contact?
Or will I give eye contact and smile at you, and say “no thank you”?
As I got closer, it was apparent it was potato salad…
And I begin to think
Well! Potato salad…it’s not that bad…let’s play it safe, shall we? Let’s get a little bit.
And before I knew it, I was where all the food was
You were talking speedily, happily with the others
About just everything it seemed… my ears heard blurs at this point
A lady offered me salad – I accepted the bowl and slowly put dressing on and looked up
And you smiled at me and said,
“Best potato salad in the world, right here.”
And I can’t remember if I smiled,
But I most certainly lifted that stupid plate…
The lady next to you said,
“and there’s another kind right beside it!”
I said quickly, “I think I’ll pass…”
What she didn’t know was that I was trying to get the hell away before I vomited on everything and everyone...
I wasn’t hungry at all…
But one thing was certain…
I accepted the potato salad because you were serving it!
And I ate it too…
It wasn’t bad…in fact I could say pretty easily,
It was the best potato salad in the world
You were… were….. right there.
It’s Christmas Eve and through the house
There creeps a curious little mouse.
He climbs into the big arm chair
And finds the cookies waiting there.
He only takes the smallest bite.
Santa will find his treat tonight.
He gazes with wonder at the tree
And the bright wrapped gifts left there to be
A mystery tale to tell his spouse,
When he gets home, this curious mouse.
What an adventure it has been,
He has drunk of some spilled over gin,
That had been left upon the table.
His wife will think it is a fable
He has concocted to amuse her.
She is home-bound, we must excuse her.
He once came home all out of breath
To say he had been scared to death
By a huge rat with fluffy tail.
She noticed he was very pale.
“While I was nibbling off some cheese
To bring to you, my love, to please.
He almost had me in his paws.
I’m sure he wasn’t Santa Claus”.
But this night is so very quiet.
He spies some fruitcake, has to try it.
It reminds him of that sip of gin
And wonders if his head will spin.
He hears a noise, runs for his life,
Carrying fruitcake for his wife.
Christmas morning, spread before their eyes
For the baby mice, a grand surprise.
Their mama had fixed a Christmas meal
From food their dad managed to steal.
A bit of butter, a glob of jam
And a fairly good-sized piece of ham.
Bread crumbs saved from other forays.
They had enough to eat for days.
Those little mice would never waste it.
If they didn’t like it they’d still taste it.
This food their mamma set before them,
Their dad risked his life to get it for them.
He glances through the curtains as she leaves.
And he knew she was going with him instead.
Desperately he washes his soul of her but its for naught.
And he hangs each feeling on the line and the cool breeze.
She walks to the corner and gets into his car and flips her hair.
He always loved the way she flipped her hair and the body after a drink.
Her body would glisten with the sweat of his thrust and the bite on his shoulder.
The car pulls away and he watches the lights drive off with his heart and the bite.
The laundry machine moves like her and shudders and vibrates.
But she will return with food from the Chinaman.
Chinese food was how he knew.
She never ate Chinese food except afterwards.
The clothes lay fluttering in the night air as his heart dried.
And she came home with egg rolls and the feint smell of polo.
I am Canine lupus familiaris
Known as dog
Man’s best friend
Someone to fetch
Someone to catch with
Someone to walk
Since I cannot speak
I watch and listen
I also watch my master drink sour water from cans
As he and his friends laugh
Their shrill laughter becoming louder and louder
Their voices hurting my ears until I leave the room.
One week master was excited
The phone rang constantly
A jarring message
A three day weekend
More sour water
More loud noise
Then suddenly I was left alone
Quickly and firmly
The door closed to me
At first I was glad for the silence
My eyes grew accustomed to the dark
Hungry, I searched the house
Found food and some water
I could smell the bags of dog food in the pantry
But it was no use
I couldn’t unlock the door
But I was brave
I didn’t panic
I made do with what I had
I conserved what little food was left in my doggie bowl
I drank water only when needed
I pooped in the bathroom
Like my Master always did
But it wasn’t enough
By the third day the water was gone
The doggie bowl empty.
When the door opened three days later
Master walked in
Sour water on his breathe
Short angry hissing words escaped his lips
When he found me
Alone and hungry
Rubbing his face
More short words followed
Anger directed at himself for neglecting me
Then he hugged me
Suddenly there was water
There was food
Looking up at him
My eyes told him
My father was the Wolf
From the frozen North
My mother the She Wolf
Who ruled the forest
And guarded the wolf dens
I came from strong genes
I learned how to survive.
(Good Advice Spurned)
Grandmother packed a picnic lunch.
Brother, sister, and I, with two uncles
traipsed into the woods,
in search of adventure.
We found it.
We ate our picnic lunch, sitting
on a fallen tree, spanning the creek.
We sampled “Rabbit Ice,” formed
on weeds, hugging the stems
in smooth, thin white curls.
We drank creek water in cupped hands,
so cold, we shivered.
“Let’s build a fire,” my brother said.
Uncle Larry cautioned, “You’d better not.
You’ll set the field on fire.”
We built the fire,
warmed our cold hands.
As the circle of fire began to spread,
we beat it with branches,
water carried from the creek in our hats.
Undaunted, the fire ate up the dry grass,
spreading like a pond ripple
from a rock thrown in.
Uncle Larry refused to join
our efforts to ‘beat out’ the fire.
He stood, callously laughing
at our futile efforts.
The entire field burned.
We worried all afternoon.
What would Granddad say,
when he saw the black field
from the kitchen window?
the quiet of the spring day was broken
by the noise and shouts in the fields
belching smoke the great iron beast
dropping its sharp blades into the soil
took large bites into the soft belly of the earth
warm and moist the soil yielded to the blades
as the monster moved quickly forward leaving
straight lines of soil like long ribbons
following was yet another of the beasts
smoothing the rows and carefully planting seeds
into the long ribbons of soil
the season of planting had begun
and another year awaited for the time
when the soil would give up
the long awaited harvest of its crops
the call of that grand lady welcoming all
to our shores with her message: "bring me
your hungry and tired, and we will care for them", was being answered
America's feeding of the world's hungry
had begun, and the great food basket of the country
was about to be filled
the first tender shoots began to appear -
small and fragile at first - and then with the aid
of a soft rain grew stronger and taller
looking over the fields the long green ribbons of
the manna of the soil - soybeans, corn, sugarcane and
the once king of them all, cotton, now reduced to
a lowly position due to cost and price - all were about to fill the
breadbasket of the world
the great crops of the South all in one of many fields
spread out as far as the eye could see
great green ribbons - swaying in the soft summer breeze
majestically saying to the world that the time would soon
be near to provide a filling of the baskets of the world
another season, another planting, another feeding -
the busy cycle had begun as had been done
since the earliest days of the nation
corn planter, bean puller, cane cutter and cotton picker
of the world, the great smoke belching, iron monsters of
the fields had begun their work.
rest would not be an option until the work was done
and the plates of the world filled with the products from
these southern fields
Thanksgiving’s on the way
This had crossed my mind
While shopping the mall yesterday I came on this display –
Who could miss it? –
Shelves and shelves full of teddy bears nutcrackers
dolls delicate ornaments and then!
this big open square rimmed with the most perfect
synthetic trees one might imagine – silver trees green
trees blue trees even a red tree
all decorated magnificently
In the middle exactly in the middle of the square – a stage
an empty throne and this short white slat-fence
enclosing the whole
I shook my head
What happened to Thanksgiving?
Who the hell is thinking about Thanksgiving?
certainly not the merchants!
Well I wandered down the aisle toward the food court
and guess what?
I come across a pen with a real live turkey strutting around
Seems I was wrong about the merchants
So? To top it off – in the food court at one of the tables
there sits a man in suspenders white tee shirt red
trousers red coat draped across the back of the chair a
phony white beard red cap lying on the table
He is one ugly bony faced misshapen human being
Santa’s on lunch break gravy and partly chewed food
spilled down his chin bald head red as a beet
I can’t help staring at him totally freaked
He looks my way smiles
“Gobble gobble” says St. Nick
There in a land foreign
Folks did not give us forks
Instead they said...
"chop the food with sticks"
The sticks stuck to my hands...
l could not eat
From across the table a voice said ...
"well then, use your hands instead"
Bobby Dobbler is a fast food slob,
known by all as Fat Boy Rob;
although he’d rather be called Magnifique Roberto.
He prefers the burgers at Burger Doozie;
he should know best for he eats them by the dozen.
The most scrumptious fries he says come from Rummy Dummy,
crisp and tasty when smothered with ketchup galore.
But the crème de la crème of the ice cream treats,
according to Fatzo, is found at Whatzup With Your Burger Fool.
So put some extra go juice in your pimped out ride homey
and hit all three and you’ll have a meal fit for da scene.
We walked over the rough soil
previously churned by machine,
exposing potatoes to open air.
like careless love hands
whose only aim is gain.
We picked up those potatoes
scattered like rubbish,
floating on ocean waves.
Peelings pitched as casually
as the unwanted debris of our lives,
left a freezer stocked
for an entire winter.
There's an old cliché,
One man's trash . . .
I just walked past the restaurant
A terrific place I used to go
Early in the evening hours
Of a chilly and recent past night
The fullness of the moon cast a memory
Reminders of my having traveled to these places so often
beneath its comfortable glow.
Places like this I used to dine
In what seems like so many moons ago
Could it have really just have been
Only seemingly late last year?
And then I realized I was outside a window
On the outside looking in
I am on the outside looking in
Of a place where I might or could have been
Tonight or any other evening
And I had been here oh so recently
Only a very short year ago.
Today the price of entry to this place
Is way beyond my meager means.
I recollected that being seen here
Had been so important to me
Now it is the last thought I hold dear.
I saw the fancy tables
of where I used to dine
With only the finest crystal
That held the finest wines.
I saw romantic candles
Flickering and burning bright
I saw tables surrounded with beaming faces
Flushed and filled with anticipatory delight
Anticipation of the wondrous delicacies
They would all soon have and behold.
I saw the sommelier pouring wine
Bottles and endless bottles
Of all the nectars considered to be in vogue
Every one of their prices
Deemed them to taste like liquid gold.
All drinks designed to compliment
The amazing and stylish cuisines
Posh dinners were arriving quickly
Looking as though from magazines
Arranged and prepared with minute details
Nothing ever missing, nothing out of place
Happiness was everywhere.
Joy radiated from every face.
And as the November wind
Begins to blow
I turned my head to go
To walk toward my empty street
My scarf wrapped tightly against the night.
Striding ever more quickly
Trying to beat the wind and cold
I had some thoughts and revelations
About that what I had just seen.
About those who have never been waited upon
Never in their whole lives
And about those who dine within those walls
Whose thoughts have never even considered
That they could end up on the outside looking in.
I who now know for certain
That it is such a very thin line
Between being poor and living fine.
And now I have to wonder
If being there had been some sort of sin
And now that is now the reason
I am on the outside
On the outside looking in
To The Restaurant.
(November 15, 2010 Wausau, Wisconsin)
(c) Copyright 2010 by Christine A Kysely, All Rights Reserved
Tall Aunt Euvela
Made biscuits for our dinner
It was requested of the crowd
How many biscuits are required?
My daddy said, "I always eat two."
Uncle Troy said, " You won't eat two of Euvela's."
When dinner was eaten,
All the dishes washed.
Uncle Troy said," Morgan, two you stopped short of."
Daddy said, "Troy, you was right those biscuits were as big as plate."
He continued, "No one could eat two of Euvela's biscuits."
That woman had those big hands with long fingers to match her six foot height..
It has been said that it takes a whole village
To raise a child; How does the village help
Families raise the children?
Truckers live in the village; and together, they,
Along with everyone else helps raise the children.
How do they help?
The truckers transport the goods that merchants
Need so the merchants can sell the things
That folks need to be smart, strong, healthy,
Entertained, clothed, and happy.
They work around the world…endlessly.
Delivering products. Through towns and cities
Driving here, driving there; delivering goods.
Back in the times of the horse and carriages,
The “truckers” used horses or pushed handcarts.
If someone had an extra hog to trade or
Crops to sell, they usually bought directly.
The farmers or someone else in the village
Helped deliver the things that needed to be delivered.
Together, people worked, struggled, and helped
One another. Children were responsible.
Their help was needed for survival…appreciated.
Everyone in the village helped to raise the children.
Even the children helped with the younger.
People interacted, closely. Thus, they helped raise the children.
Today, men and women still help raise the village children.
The children watch truckers on the road.
Driving, passing, changing lanes, shopping in shops
They set examples, good or bad.
And children watch wide eyed with ears perked!
© Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
March 19, 2010
Poetic form: Free Verse
© Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
March 19, 2010
Poetic form: Free Verse
How is it possible? Sixty years? Ouch. I shudder to remember
those first attempts in the kitchen. At that time, the kitchen was
“hands off” to men. I began cooking at age fifteen. But only
desserts and breakfast food. I could make biscuits, cornbread,
pie crust, and fried potatoes, eggs, ham, or pork chops.
But I loved everything from fish to sauerkraut and fried okra.
He is extremely allergic to fish. He loved steak. The year was
1954. A thick T-Bone steak at the grocery could be had for 60
cents. In our first year of marriage, we ate a lot of steak.
He would eat only potatoes and corn, with his steak. I still love
baked potatoes, but soon grew tired of corn, and hungered for
veggies. Time changes everything. He now eats anything but
fish. No problem. When we dine out, I order fish.
If I haven’t cooked sauerkraut recently, he will say, “I think I’ll
go get some Polish Sausage and sauerkraut. He brings it home,
then goes to work in the kitchen. His tastes almost as good as
mine. He even makes the cornbread and stewed potatoes.
It's funny how we associate things. They become one with each other. Who can imagine an Easter without the bunny, or losing a tooth and not being paid a visit by the tooth fairy. And Christmas would be unthinkable without Santa. So that is why, I guess, that I still remember one particular Thanksgiving from my youth.
Back then, turkeys at the market were fresh, not frozen and encased in plastic as they are today. They also represented an extra expense on an already tight food budget. So my mother made arrangements with the market manager to set up a layaway of sorts, paying some each week, and they promised to hold one for her.
I remember when, on the afternoon before Thanksgiving day, she sent me over to the grocer to pick up the turkey. I jumped on my bike and rode downtown to Converse Market. Walking up to the door, I found it locked. Shading my eyes, I pressed my nose against the window and saw that all the lights were off. Turns out they had closed early that day to give their employees a little more time to spend with their families.
When I returned home and told my mother what had happened, the look on her face was one of devastation. What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey? I thought my dad would be mad, but instead he just said “we've got food in the house don't we”? And we did.
So, although the letdown of a Thanksgiving without the traditional bird could have been a disaster, on that particular day, we chose instead to give thanks for what we had, and, as a family, dived into our pork chops with all the fixings.
Curry. Cumin. Saffron.
Mmmm, the hallways always smell of spice,
her seventy-year-old body perfecting the rhythm of movement
from icebox to oven in her efficiency kitchenette.
Tangerine wall paint cracks and mixes carelessly
with bits of spice yet lingering in the air; it
follows her, this aroma that eats the eater,
dancing around her skirts
like faeries honoring their faerie queen.
She knows this, and smiles at the sliver of sun peeking through her window.
Down the corridor
people begin their ritual of recognition, then sniffing,
and finally a smile that reveals anticipation.
No one goes hungry inside Apartment A6 and everyone has seconds.
Lunch and dinner, breakfast too
if a body is moving about as dawn surfaces.
Though small, her main floor seems to expand
beyond the boundaries of walls,
everyone cross-legged and eager to devour dishes
few could pronounce and none could forget.
A legend among the two hundred desperate palates;
today, however, souls wander lost through the hallways
because the lucky have snaked their way into heaven
and left the masses to a barren, tasteless fate.
As the onions, okra and potatoes, flavored
with a hint of saffron and even less ginger,
entice bodies five deep and ten across,
our greedy fingers and mouths offer no thoughts of others
going without while dripping sauce falls onto our legs
and Berndi seems content with the pleasure she’s wrought.