Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Poem to Celebrate Food, Friendship, and Community

At my creativity blog, I've continued my contemplation of food: this post ponders how we eat, why we eat, and how our society distracts us with weight control schemes that keep us from doing the important work (creative work, social change, you name it), and here I continue the thinking by considering the extra duties that children and pets confer.

Not surprisingly, many of my poems feature food. Here's a poem that appeared in Ruminate, a poem which thinks about women and food, women and religion, about the whole idea of communion (both the verb and the sacrament):


I knead the bread leavened with beer,
stew a lamb shank in a pot of lentils,
prepare a salad of apples, walnuts, and raisins,
sweetened with wine and honey.
No one ever had herbs as bitter as this late season lettuce.

My friends gather at dusk, a motley band
of ragtags, fleeing from the Philistines of academia:
a Marxist, a Hindu, a Wiccan, a Charismatic Catholic,
and me, a lapsed Lutheran longing for liturgy.

Later, having drunk several bottles of wine
with prices that could have paid our grad
school rents, we eat desserts from disparate
cultures and tell our daughters tales from our deviant days.
We agree to meet again.

Gnarled vegetables coaxed from their dark hiding places
transform into a hearty broth.
Fire transubstantiates flour and water into life giving loaves.
Outcasts scavenged from the margins of education
share a meal and memories and begin to mold
a new family, a different covenant.

We have participated in the Paschal mysteries,
not yet comprehending the scope of what we have created.

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