Poetry Potluck – poems about food

Poetry Potluck

To compliment the post “Let’s Eat” (coming soon!), today, for poetry Monday, I’m setting the table and dishing out poems about food, some humorous and some multicultural, and ending with a Nicaraguan prayer, as we remember that many children face hunger, and as we are thankful for the food at our table, we need to be mindful of this and ask God he would have us do to help those in need. I know many of you work in relief and development. Thank you for being the hands and feet of God.

Enjoy this poetry smorgasbord!


On Sunday afternoons in mango season,

Alleyne would fill his enamel basin

with golden-yellow fruit, wash them in clean water,

then sit out in the yard, under the grapefruit tree,

near the single rose bush, back to the crotons,

place the basin between his feet,

and slowly eat his mangos, one by one, down to the clean white seed.

His felt-hat was always on his head. The yellow basin chipped near the bottom

with its thin green rim, the clear water, the golden fruit,

him eating slowly, carefully, picking the mango fiber from his teeth,

under those clear, quiet afternoons, I remember.

Me sitting in the doorway of my room, one foot on the steps that dropped

into the yard, reading him, over a book. That’s how it was.
Poem by John Robert Lee (poem from Around the World in Eighty poems by James Berry)

JOHN ROBERT LEE (b. 1948, Saint Lucia, West Indies) is a St. Lucian writer who has published several collections of poetry. His short stories and poems can be found in many Caribbean and international journals and  anthologies.



I love the

friday night

smell of

mammie baking

bread – creeping

up to me in


& tho I fall

asleep before I

even get a bite

I know for sure


morning come

the kitchen table

will be laden

with bread

fresh & warm.

salt bread

sweet bread, crisp

& brown &

best of all

coconut buns

make me

love the friday

night smell of

mammie baking bread

putting me to bed

to sleep



Poem by Marc Matthews
Marc Matthews (b. 1940) is an award-winning Guyanese writer, actor, broadcaster and producer.

Which is the Best?

Ice cream on a stick,

Covered with cold, shiny chocolate,
Or ice cream heaped up in a cone,

Dripping fast on a hot day,
Or ice cream in a big blue bowl

And a spoon you can take your time with-
Which is best?
It is too soon

To give the answer.
I have more testing

To Do.
Poem by James Stevenson (b. 1929) American illustrator and author of over 100 children’s books.

The next two poems are taken from Poem Stew (1981), a fun book filled with humorous poems about food, with poems selected and compiled by William Cole, with his own poems as well as many other poems, from writers such as Ogden Nash, John Ciardi and Shel Silverstein. William Rossa Cole (November 20, 1919 – August 2, 2000) was an American editor, anthologist, columnist, author, and writer of light verse.

Going Too Far

I could eat pails

of snails

cooked with garlic and butter –

they make my heart flutter –

with maybe a shallot

for my palate,

and parsley,


But I would never eat a slug!

Poem by William Cole

It’s such a shock, I almost screech

It’s such a shock, I almost screech,

When I find a worm inside my peach!

But then, what really makes me blue,

Is to find a worm who’s bit in two!


Poems by William Cole

This prayer is taken from Thank you for This Food by Debbie Trafton O’Neal – this picture book includes 24 action prayers (with diagrams), songs and blessings perfect for mealtimes with young children.


Nicaraguan Prayer

O God,

bless this food we are about to receive

Give bread to those who hunger,

and give hunger for justice

to us who have bread

Prayer from Thank you for This Food by Debbie Trafton O’Neal, illustrated by Nancy Munger


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