Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Poems about Food

This week, poetry thursday challenged us to write poems about food. This is a gift for my husband, the suburban, gentleman farmer. Gardening as a hobby mystifies me. Perhaps it is because I have a 'brown' thumb--plants I care for wither on the vine. Or perhaps it is too much of delayed gratification for me. I don't have the right kind of patience for it. Which is not to say I don't appreciate and benefit from Neil's skill and care of our small yard and its gardens.

Heirloom Varieties

On your bedside table
seed catalogues flirt
with manuals on container
gardening and a brochure
for recycled composters.

Your ancestors were never
farmers. Seven generations
back past doctors and lawyers,
pharmacists, merchants, rabbis.
The closest anyone got to dirt

an undertaker. You dream
of cold frames and the louvered
windows of a greenhouse, content
yourself with timers and soaker
hoses, miracle-gro, blueberry mulch.

August heat wilts me. Stalks
climb over the plant stakes, inch
closer to the sun while I reach
for shade and fresh ice. You sweat
over weeds and aphids, invasive

roots from our neighbor's hollyhocks.
The nights cool off to ninety. I ache
for fall. You bring me a glass
of chilled chardonay, the unblemished
round of a single perfect tomato.

~ljcohen, 2006


  1. I was going to type out some of my favorite lines, but there's too many! This is really good. I love it!

  2. Wonderful poem. I love all the gardning lingo: container gardening, cold frames, recycled gives such character to the gardener. And a great contrast to the chilled chardonnay. Lovely.

  3. mmmmMMM, I HOPE it's a cherry tomatoe!

  4. I like the comparison of the garden ever growing with your desire to seek shade and ice. And what a satisfactory ending :)

  5. I, too, love the gardening lingo. Nice twist on the prompt.

  6. It's beautiful, I love how you know him, and how he loves you with the chilled wine.

    Simply beautiful.

  7. Thank you all! I've been really enjoying this week's poetry thursday offerings.


  8. Very lovely.. I was caught on your last line about the tomato.. This poem gives me chills.

  9. Great post. I love the dirt. All my people were dirt folk. Some of us get pretty far away from our dirt roots. I feel the most satisfied when I reach in my thumb and pull out a fat night crawler. Great ending with the juicy reward...both of them.

  10. I could see myself in that poem. Great work.

  11. Love your blog, and your writing. I have bookmarked it. Hope you don't mind....

  12. I too love this poem...What an original take on the prompt. The tomato is a wonderful ending.

  13. Lovely poem, Lisa. I found it via Frank's Blog.


  14. Thank you all! It's so lovely to be in a community of poets.


  15. yes, lots of nice lines! I especially like the use of flirt.