Poem-a-Day Writer’s Digest Challenge #19. Theme: Commonplace


The Book of Common Fare

Somewhere, in the warm hearth that is Grandpa’s house,
where cooks and non-cooks gather round,
is Grandma’s recipe book—
nestled in with the spices,
smelling of cloves,
the pages yellowed and crisp with age,
like apples dried in the sun.
The slip of the paisley-printed,
cloth-covered book is beginning to show,
like a naughty woman whose mystery remains unsolved.
There are no glossy, full-color photos,
but little handwritten notes in script like hieroglyph
about moments long forgotten—
snippets of time left in an old scrapbooking box
like bits of ribbon or bobs of yarn.

It is a diary of love for all things molasses,
a legacy of labor consumed,
for every time one of her grown granddaughters
cook one of her recipes,
her presence once more felt,
and it’s like she’s come back for a Christmas visit
with her thousand-carat fudge,
a Thanksgiving gathering
with her cornbread chestnut dressing,
always served on Wedgwood blue like it was the finest feast.

They didn’t stack their food like Jenga back then
or smear this thing called “coulis” on the plate
or cook with this abomination called “margarine”.
Twas was all simple fare from a complex woman
who learned not from the likes of Julia Child,
but from her mother,
who learned from her mother;
she learned by doing,
not by watching,
and every time someone cooks one of her recipes,
the aroma goes straight up to heaven,
and she smiles like the sunbeam
that used to brew her summertime tea.


Poem-a-Day Writer’s Digest Challenge #10. Theme: Write a poem that is heavy, or one that is light


The Most Important Meal

dedicated to https://spoonyouforkme.wordpress.com/,
one of my most loyal readers.

The Before-and-After Special:
One chicken D-cup and scrambled eggs,
served with candied meat candy,
‘longside a Jumbone turkey leg.
French Fry-Fo-Fum Toast,
stuffed with Hannah Banana cream cheese,
and drizzled with marple surple.
A cup of java,
with mocha crème de la crème,
tops it all off,
this breakfast for one.

The Green Dregs and Yam Special:
Facon bacon and tofu scramble,
served with Ezekiel toast
spread with “I Do Believe It Ain’t Butter”.
Sweet potatoes with funny honey,
sham ham, and soymilk hoecakes,
with a side of almond milk “gritters”.
A shot of Orange Julian (with vodka),
or Orange Julia (with champagne),
washes it all down,
this breakfast for none.

There’s somethin’ for everyone Sunday Brunch,
at the Heart-Stop-Drop-and-Roll Café.


#Micropoetry Monday: The Lighter Side


Peanut, Almond, & Cashew
went to get their DNA checked,
& found they had been totally cracked;
for Peanut, who was the only one
who liked to be boiled,
turned out not to be one of them,
but a legume.

Type A was the Bachelor of Science,
Type B, the Associate of Arts,
but Type O had University appeal—
being a Universal Donor.

Orange hated being lumped in with Apple,
as he was quite pithy & had a zest for life,
whereas Apple often ended up sauced.

Like a potato chip,
she was salted &
browned to a crisp.
When she was bagged,
she was just full of air.

Hammer, Anvil, & Stirrups
wanted to start a band called The Ossicles,
but sister Cochlea was too wired.
She told them to stop the racket,
& so the boys decided to translate sounds,
waxing at all hours.

#Micropoetry Monday: Family Dynamics

Wedding rings

Mom’s goulash fed the dog, the plants,
& sometimes the boy with synesthesia next door.
Now Ida Claire knew why Dad was always drunk before dinner.

Though Dad didn’t know the difference
from a nut or a bolt,
a screw or a nail,
he knew enough to know they held things together
as he did his family.

When she was 22,
he was Puddin’.
When he was 24,
she was Punkin’.
At 32 & 34, she was Babs,
he was Pip.
At 55+, it was simply “Hey”.

He didn’t make the bacon,
but burned it.
He didn’t win the bread,
but smashed it.
He forgot our birthdays,
but made sure we had plenty.
He was Dad.

Mom was the undomesticated goddess,
Dad, the SAHD with a God-complex,
brother Del, with just a complex,
& I, the rewriter of the family history.

#Micropoetry Monday: Our Beautiful South


The geometric sharpness
above the Mason-Dixon line,
softened like charcoal, dreamlike,
as I delved into the Deep South—
a peach going back to pit.

Her husband was a man
of the camo cloth.
Faith was her name,
but Hope was the daughter
she’d given birth to
when she got saved by Grace.

Magnolia blooms are virginal Southern belles-
a pearlescent setting in a ring of fine patina,
like Scarlett O’Hara’s dress with tasseled lapels.

Utah had opened her eyes,
but back in the South,
eyes closed,
she dusted off her old testimony.
Twas like coming home
after a long time away.

Miss Ruby Lee was
a dyed-in-the-seersucker,
red State lady,
serving fried chicken,
hominy grits,
& nanner puddin’–
all on Wedgwood blue.