Hi everyone ! In my part of the world, it is winter and the temperatures are falling below 0 C. We are all bundled up in our boots, jackets, scarves and gloves as we dash along salted and muddy streets. I haven’t done my Christmas shopping yet, but my chef son has promised to help me with Christmas meal preparation which is really a big help to me. He has been baking lately – lots of apple and pear pies, corn bread and banana cake. The smell in the kitchen gave me an idea for our last poetics for 2014, and that is bread.
Rustic Bread in Iron Skillet by Canela Kitchen
Here are two poems for your muse:
Each night, in a space he’d make
between waking and purpose,
my grandfather donned his one
suit, in our still dark house, and drove
through Brooklyn’s deserted streets
following trolley tracks to the bakery.
There he’d change into white
linen work clothes and cap,
and in the absence of women,
his hands were both loving, well
into dawn and throughout the day—
kneading, rolling out, shaping
each astonishing moment
of yeasty predictability
in that windowless world lit
by slightly swaying naked bulbs,
where the shadows staggered, woozy
with the aromatic warmth of the work.
Then, the suit and drive, again.
At our table, graced by a loaf
that steamed when we sliced it,
softened the butter and leavened
the very air we’d breathe,
he’d count us blessed.
Poem copyright ©2012 by Richard Levine from his most recent book of poems, A Tide of a Hundred Mountains, Bright Hill Press, 2012. Reprinted by permission of Richard Levine and the publisher.
for Wendell Berry
Each face in the street is a slice of bread
somewhere in the light the true hunger
appears to be passing them by
have they forgotten the pale caves
they dreamed of hiding in
their own caves
full of the waiting of their footprints
hung with the hollow marks of their groping
full of their sleep and their hiding
have they forgotten the ragged tunnels
they dreamed of following in out of the light
to hear step after step
the heart of bread
to be sustained by its dark breath
to find themselves alone
before a wheat field
raising its radiance to the moon
W. S. Merwin, “Bread” from The Second Four Books of Poems (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.
Source: The Second Four Books of Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 1993)
Our challenge is to write about bread, either as a subject (making or sharing the bread or the lack of bread) or as a metaphor (peace, forgiveness, love, etc). And if I don’t see you around for OpenLinkNight this Saturday before we take our break, I wish you and your family, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays !!!!