friday feast: fresh squeezed emotion

  photo by Abby Lanes

Happy Poetry Friday!

Please help yourself to some fresh lemonade and make yourself comfortable. Summer’s in full swing now, so we don’t have to rush. It’s the season to lounge, languish, and love your lemons!

photo by distopiandreamgirl.

It’s an odd thing, really. Lemons are acidic and very sour — yet their emotional connotations are almost always joyful and sweet.

Mere mention of lemons, and my mind goes to a happy place, rejuvenating and clean.

photo by“M” Pearl.

I think of childhood lemonade stands,

photo by fleamarketstudio.

sunny slices splashing in cool, refreshing drinks,

saucy little wedges that say, “Squeeze me,” so they can squirt me in the eye.

Lemon juice adds just the right tang to salad dressings and marinades, and makes just about everything taste and look good:

  Chicken piccata by leia511.

There’s nothing I love more than the scent of lemons, especially nice when zesting a juicy yellow beauty. Added to a few other ingredients, like butter, sugar and eggs, lemons magically transform themselves into some of my absolute favorite desserts, like lemon bars,

photo by Glorious Treats.

lemon meringue pie,

photo by Daniel Greene.

and a sentimental favorite, lemon curd tarts!

photo by chris5aw.

While living in Wimbledon, I always stopped at Sainsbury’s on the way home from school to get a few things for tea and supper. I usually bought bourbon cream biscuits or jam tarts. But one day, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give those lemon curd tarts (which had been coyly beckoning to me for a few weeks) a try.

Well, my eyes rolled back in my head with that first bite — tangy sweetness cradled in a buttery crust. GIVE ME! Ever since then, lemon curd has become synonymous with England, a decadent treat I allow myself for special occasions only — like summer, fall, winter, and spring. ☺

  photo by Fatty Tuna.

But let’s get to today’s poem. Jennifer Perrine of Des Moines, Iowa, recently won the “Taste Test” poetry contest sponsored by the Virginia Arts of the Book Center.  Here is lemon at its metaphorical finest: Perrine’s words bite and sting; her artistry is achingly sweet. This gem will make you pucker and salivate with a taste you won’t soon forget.


photo byhallie jo.

your mouth into a trough, a spout
from which that sour sauce will pour,
pulp and spittle swimming down your
chin, eyes pinched shut, each acid thought

welling under the tongue. Thin slice
of pain wedged on the salty rim
of your face, let its tart grace skim
your glass neat: no sugar, no ice

to temper this bite, this slick burst
that cankers your lips. Life gives you
lemons: cut your teeth on their rinds, 

tear them with gusto, slake your thirst
with their slavering, jaundiced juice,
swallow hard, leave no seeds behind. 

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Kelly Herold at her new blog, Crossover. Stroll on over, and offer her a cool drink before you check out all the great poems. I bet she takes her iced tea with lemon.

Oh, before you go, a little lemon sorbet to cleanse your palate.♥

photo by Lynnylu.


36 thoughts on “friday feast: fresh squeezed emotion

  1. Just reading this post gives me that hurt in front of my ears imagining the sourness of the lemons…really, ANTICIPATING the sourness, which, like you said, is the crazy thing about lemons. They bite, they hurt, they pucker us up…and yet they are one of the sweetest things in life.


  2. Hi, Jama!

    I love lemons too. Wow, Sainsbury sounds heavenly. *drool* And that picture of the girl with the lemonade stand and popcorn is wonderful. Now I want lemonade and popcorn!!

    I also love the Philippine lemon: calamansi. 😀

    Into the Wardrobe


  3. I have never had a Meyer lemon. :o(

    Calamansi is native to the Philippines. I hear that in the West it is called an acid orange, calamondin orange, or Panama orange!

    Into the Wardrobe


  4. Oh, man. I had a friend who used to make us lemon meringue pies. Then we foolishly moved too far away from her.

    Your choices for PF are always so original and delicious. This one is bursting with images. I can see why it won.

    P.S. Lemon zest makes almost anything better.


  5. Lemons

    I love lemons. I love eating them despite the warning from my mother that they would take the enamel off my teeth. (Never happened) I also love the song “Lemon Tree” sung by Peter, Paul and Mary


  6. A lovely, lemony, tangy treat! Thank you! (A friend from Scotland introduced me to lemon curd years ago, and I agree — it’s one of the great achievements of humankind.)


  7. You, I feel like I’ve eaten a huge meal everytime I come here. Not a good thing when you’re trying to lose weight. lol

    As always, enjoyed your post.



  8. What a great poem! Love that idea for a contest!
    Your pictures are making me salivate! (I do have some limeade in the fridge I must drink now!)


  9. Re: Lemons

    I almost forgot about “Lemon Tree.” *going to look it up on YouTube*

    Glad to hear your enamel’s still intact. *going to the mirror to check mine* 😀


  10. heavenly

    What a fierce poem! And what a delicious post. I’m a huge lemon fan, too, and tend to put the juice in EVERYTHING. My grandmother grew little ornamental lemon trees in her sunroom, and the smell always takes me there. There’s nothing like it, so clean and fresh. Thanks, Jama, for the memory.

    ~eisha (7-Imp)


  11. Thanks, Susan. The theory is — blog about food rather than eat it! 😀 Of course, the theory doesn’t always hold — since I’m gaining weight anyway.


  12. Tanita Says :

    One of these days, you’ll have to try the recipe for Ma Dear’s Lemon Cake that’s in A LA CARTE… I’m sitting here looking at these pictures and just swallowing.

    …yum. I think lemon and lime are two of the most divine flavors created, and I will eat lemon with just about anything. The tarts look TDF!!!!


  13. from Laura @ Author Amok

    What a mouth watering poem. The contest sounds interesting (and tasty), too. I’ll have to check it out.


  14. Re: Tanita Says :

    Almost forgot about Ma Dear’s Lemon Cake. Yes, it does sound good. We’re kind of on the same wave length, because I almost posted a recipe for lemon loaf — quite similar to Ma Dear’s recipe without the processed peel added to the batter. Love drizzling lemon juice/sugar over the top!


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