Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Eggplant Poem (draft)

This is a new poem that I wrote for my poetry class with Dawn McDuffie.  The formatting came out sucky, sorry about that!  :-(  It is a DRAFT:

Aubergine, Solanum melongena, a Recipe

Open your loppers and wield them like the mandibles
of a huge insect. Steer them step-by-step toward the tall rangy plants
that bow with the weight of their fruit.  Swoop and center the jaws
around the fruit-stalk, yank closed the teeth to sever the tough stem. 
Watch the purple, pear-shaped fruit plop onto soil
damp and fragrant from days of rain. Carry it reverently
to the coiled hose, allowing each of your ten fingers
to stroke the rich, smooth skin. Wash the few dirt clusters
from the plump base of the fruit with a soft spray
and dry the fruit on your clean cotton apron. Enjoy the way
the water droplets sink into the fabric and disappear,
leaving only faint and fading dark spots on the paisley pattern.
Brush your lips against skin the color of stormy sunset. 
Inside, place a skillet on the fire, add fat, and turn up the flame.
Slide the cutting board from its home along the window wall
and pull the thick-handled butcher knife from its block. 
Lay your sacrifice on the wooden altar and slice from the shoulders
to the hips.  Pause to admire the creamy flesh and small designs
of seed. In a low, flat dish pour stone-ground cornmeal, flour,
salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of Old Bay.  Blend with a fork.
From the egg basket on the sideboard, raise your piles
of fresh-picked spinach, cilantro and parsley, pausing to sniff
the aromatic cilantro, and lift out two brown eggs.  Thump them
quickly against the edge of the sink, pull the shells apart
and let the wet suns in their small seas fall into a flat dish. 
Mix with the fork. One by one, lay the slices in the beaten eggs,
flip them, lay them in the cornmeal, flip them and drop them
into hot fat. Listen for a quick sizzle and a hiss of bubbles.
When the edges brown, turn them over and watch them dance.
When the slices resemble the sunset gold of the elm leaves
that gather in the tall grass outside your window, lay them
on towels to drain and cool. Arrange like petals of a flower
on Grandma’s heirloom Botanica platter, with sprigs of parsley
and cilantro. Danger!  Don't make these more than once a year
and don’t burn your tongue as you groan and savor
the crunchy crust that clings to the hot, soft fruit.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
for Margaret and Keith
111018-1516-2a(3), 111017-1432-1b(2), 111017-0836-1st complete,111016 partial draft a

Further instructions, not part of poem:
layer the leftovers with tomatoes and parmesan
and bake. Cut into rectangular chunks and serve warm.
-OR- Place the fresh fruit in the microwave ten minutes.  Cool.  Carefully scrape the soft pulp
from the now delicate skin, add lemon, olive oil, tahini and garlic
and spread on pita, toast or chips.  Wallow then, in the gorgeous glory of baba ghanouj.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Turn Back the Clock (new Poem)

Turn Back the Clock

I cannot look at the face

of the man who killed Norway's children.

I turn away in horror.

Why? I ask my husband, why

did he kill children?

Why children? How could they have harmed him?

Why did he dress as a policeman, the one person

we teach our children to trust, to go to for help

and safety? Why did he then

shoot them?

Why did he shoot them as they ran, shoot them as they swam

off the island toward the mainland, trying to escape?


did he do it? How could he?

Why? I cry.

And cry.

Fibers of my heart

tear apart


the little strands of muscles part

and all the soul leaks out.

I want to go back in time

gather the children

and protect them.

I want to turn back the clocks

and make them safe.

I want to restore

the lives they have lost

and let them flow forward again

to their own fruition.

I want to go backwards in time

and undo the evil

that made the man

do what he did

before he did it.

"If you want to bake an apple pie

from scratch

you must first invent the universe."

I want to reinvent the world

without that pain.

I want to erase every thread

that led to that event,

unwind it, unravel it

back to its source,

ablate that well of darkness

and set the wheels turning again

so those children run free,

laugh, grow up.

Or I want





those children

who can no longer be saved.

I cannot look at the face

of Anders Behring Breivik.

I want to trust the world again.

Mary Stebbins Taitt

"If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe." Carl Sagan

110725-0900-2a(2), 110724 1st draft

Images harvested from internet, for which I apologize. Click images to view larger.