“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
Syria. Shootings. Shutdown. Stand-off.
What to do when your government is broken and the world has gone mad? While everyone duked it out in public this week, our neighbor Jack quietly battled for his life in the privacy of his own home.
Jack was a writer and a recluse. Fourteen years living next door and I may have spoken to him three times. Amidst the din of discord and crazy agendas, foreign wars we’ll never understand, and a brand of racism and intolerance that continues to rear its ugly head, we all have our personal battles. Sickness and suffering aside, what saddened us the most was that Jack died alone.
Looking for solace, I was happy to discover new-to-me Ohio poet and photographer Sharon Auberle. Her poem offered comfort, and her wonderful photos captured the tangible beauty in the world, reminding me how important it is to hold onto yourself by simply doing what you know and what you can, and being present in each moment.
Sharon wrote today’s poem because she was angry:
I clearly remember the day I wrote this . . . it was the day before the beginning of the Iraq War, and all the saber rattling was going on, and I was so so angry and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. So I was making this soup and thinking about how to calm down, and then I realized that dining mindfully and gratefully, really tasting delicious food and wine and hopefully with friends was what I needed. I don’t recall how the poem came to be set in Autumn because it was March, but I would guess that fact falls under the term of “poetic license!”
Do you think we’re angrier now than we were ten years ago? For what ails you:
HOW TO GET THROUGH A DAY WHEN ALL THE TALK IS OF WAR
by Sharon Auberle
First you notice the mellow afternoon,
with the oak glowing bronze
by your front door and one last bee,
drunk on October and fallen apples,
weaving down your window screen.
Then you might try
frying an onion and lots
of garlic in some olive oil.
While that fragrance is luring
all manner of creatures to your door,
you could puree two cans
of Caribbean-style black beans
with about one half can of chicken broth,
then mix it all together, along
with the rest of the can of broth
to heat through. Add a dollop
of sour cream in each bowl and
serve with red wine, some olives,
a green salad with the hint of oil and vinegar,
and a fresh, crusty French baguette
that you must tear apart in the best spirit
of breaking bread—with an old lover,
or a friend who knew you when.
Alone is good, too, with Bach
and a book of poems.
Then indulge, enjoy, surrender
to this moment that is all there is,
to the bee, the oak, the falling night,
to this prelude of smoky light,
golden against evening shadows…
Posted by permission of the author, copyright © 2013 Sharon Auberle. All rights reserved.
* * *
Sharon’s poem made me feel better, and it made me want to make her soup.
I couldn’t find Caribbean stye black beans, but I improvised with regular black beans to great results. The soup was hearty, delicious and satisfying. I followed the steps in the poem, adding these spices gradually until I achieved the flavor I wanted: sea salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, ground cumin. Yum!
By the by, Sharon’s poem won First Place in the Triad Contest (Food Category) sponsored by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and first appeared in Verse Wisconsin (Spring Issue #102).
To feast on more of her wonderful poetry-photo pairings, visit Mimi’s Golightly Cafe. Is that a cool name for a blog, or what?
Thanks, Sharon — your recipe poem was just what the doctor ordered — it’s sheer pleasure to see the world through your eyes.
* * *
The lovely and talented Laura Purdie Salas is hosting today’s Roundup at Writing the World for Kids. Take her a cup of soup and enjoy the full menu of tasty poetic offerings on this week’s menu.
“What Washington needs is adult supervision.” ~ Barack Obama
Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.