friday feast: the power of blue

 Source: D. Sharon Pruitt, Pink Sherbet Photography

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been a bit obsessed with BLUE this week.

Maybe “obsessed” is too strong a word. Try, “enamoured.” Yes, that’s better. Though green has always been my favorite color, lately blue’s been toying with my affections, surprising me with its uncanny guises (I think there’s a picture book in there somewhere). “Call me by any one of my names,” it teases, and I’ll set you to poetic dreaming: cerulean, azure, cobalt, lapis. Aquamarine, baby, powder, indigo, denim, royal, robin’s egg. Prussian, sapphire, midnight, electric, teal, sky, navy, steel, periwinkle.

If green is growth and renewal; red, power and passion; and yellow, sunny optimism — then blue, besides being cool, musical, and melancholy, is deep as the sea, wide as the sky, truer than true. 

    photo by haraldna.

With food, blue is rare, exclusive, lending itself solely to a single berry. I find that a bit odd, since it colors many beautiful flowers and birds. But if there has to be only one blue food, then let it be perfect: small and round, delicious eaten raw or cooked, packed with health and nutritional benefits, and available year round. Let it be a fruit that evokes warm childhood memories and inspires exquisite poems like this one:

photo by tiny banquet committee.

by Diane Lockward

Deep-blue hue of the body, silvery bloom
on its skin. Undersized runt of a fruit,
like something that failed to thrive, dented top
a fontanel. Lopsided globe. A temperate zone.
Tiny paradox, tart and sweet, homely
but elegant afloat in sugar and cream,
baked in a pie, a cobbler, a muffin.

The power of blue. Number one antioxidant fruit,
bantam-weight champ in the fight against
urinary tract infections, best supporting actor
in a fruit salad. No peeling, coring or cutting.
Lay them out on a counter, strands of blue pearls.
Pop one at a time, like M&M’s, into your mouth.
Be a glutton and stuff in a handful, your tongue,
lips, chin dyed blue, as if feasting on indigo.
Fruit of the state of New Jersey.
Favorite fruit of my mother.

Sundays she scooped them into pancake batter,
poured circles onto the hot greased griddle, sizzled
them gold and blue, doused with maple syrup.

This is what I want to remember: my mother
and me, our quilted robes, hair in curlers,
that kitchen, that table,
plates stacked with pancakes, blueberries sparkling
like gemstones, blue stars in a gold sky,
the universe in reverse,
the two of us eating blueberry pancakes.

~ from What Feeds Us (Wind Publications, 2006), reprinted with permission of the author.

My favorite parts: “best supporting actor in a fruit salad,” and “blueberries sparkling like gemstones, blue stars in a gold sky, the universe in reverse.” *swoon*

photo by aspoonfulofsucre.

By now it must be obvious how much I love Diane’s poetry. I’ve previously posted about her second book, What Feeds Us, and have mentioned her wonderful blog, Blogalicious. If you haven’t visited, let me assure you it’s time well spent — she’s recently started hosting virtual Poetry Salons (first one with Susan Rich), and is now offering a monthly newsletter.

Best of all, she’s just published her third book: Temptation by Water (Wind Publications, 2010). I can’t wait to devour these new poems, and hopefully feature one or two in future PF posts.

Meanwhile, will you be having blueberry pancakes this weekend? Or maybe blueberry muffins (America’s favorite)? Why not don a strand of blue pearls in celebration of National Blueberry Month?

         photo by {Mel}

The lovely Irene Latham is hosting Poetry Friday today at Live. Love. Explore! I’m sure she won’t mind your tossing a blueberry or two into her mouth. Enjoy all the poems, and may the power of blue be with you!


Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

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