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
bread – creeping
up to me in
& tho I fall
asleep before I
even get a bite
I know for sure
the kitchen table
will be laden
fresh & warm.
sweet bread, crisp
& brown &
best of all
love the friday
night smell of
mammie baking bread
putting me to bed
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
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
cooked with garlic and butter –
they make my heart flutter –
with maybe a shallot
for my palate,
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!
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.
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