weekend breakfast poetry buffet

“London Breakfast” by Nora Heyson

Good Morning!

Did you know that poetry is the most important meal of the day?

Spoon up a hearty bowl of metaphors, savor a sonnet, sip a warm couplet of coffee or tea.

Since man cannot live on bread alone, today we’re serving up a breakfast buffet of five poems over easy. Feel free to grab a quick nibble or graze at your leisure, whatever feeds the need over this holiday weekend. Nothing like a few choice words to tease thought, kindle fond memories, and get your motor running. Did somebody say bacon? 🙂

Step right up and eat all about it.


“Leftovers” by Mick McGinty

by Cathy Lentes

Come sit at my Grandmother’s table . . .
let your elbows rest, cool and damp,
on the scrubbed red oilcloth.

Before you a bowl of butter,
fat yellow sticks
cut and jumbled like stones,
honey clinging to comb,
jam and jelly
sealed in paraffin tombs.

A clatter of spoons,
the dance of grease on an iron pan,
the tender crack and sizzle as
morning splits open again.
Her hands blessing the stove,
she murmurs, mindful of toast.

Now, on a plate, heavy and broad,
steaming eggs like sunshine,
thick planks of bacon,
bread, crisp and golden,
butter spread crust to crust.
Eat, she says, eat.

Feed on her gospel before you.

~ from O Taste and See: Food Poems, edited by David Lee Garrison and Terry Hermsen (Bottom Dog Press, 2003).



by Merrill Leffler

This morning I’ll skip the bacon
and eggs and have a poem over light —
two or three if you don’t mind.
I feel my appetite coming on.
And even a stack of flapjacks
which I love — with butter
and boysenberry jam spreading
their fingers of sweetness over
the ragged edges — won’t do me now.
When this hunger’s on, only a poem
will do, one that will surprise my need
like a stranger knocking
at the door (a small knock — at first,
I hardly hear it) to ask directions,
it turns out, to this house. He’s looking
for me. Who are you I ask? Your brother
he says, the one you never knew you had
or the one who you’ve been trying to remember
all your life but somehow couldn’t recall
until now, when he arrives.
And there he is
before me smiling, holding out his arms
— and all this by chance. Do you
believe it?
So serve me up a poem friend,
but just go easy on the tropes,
for instance, synecdoche and such. A simile
or two is fine and metaphor’s all right.
A rhyming quatrain, maybe on the side
would be ok, but not too much —
they sometimes give me gas.
God I love a breakfast such as this.
It gives me a running start and keeps me going
through to dark when I’m as hungry as a horse.
But that’s another poem. Let’s eat.

~ from The Poet’s Cookbook: Recipes from Germany, edited by Grace Cavalieri and Sabine Pascarelli (Forest Woods Media Productions, Inc., 2010)


“Cracked Egg” by Vic Vicini

by Russell Edson

For breakfast a man must break an egg. Then not all the
king’s horses and all the king’s men can do very much about it.

Past perfect the broken egg no longer breaks, a dead man no
longer dies…

And as he spills the broken egg into a frying pan he murmurs,
Ah, well, too bad about Humpty Dumpty…

~ from See Jack by Russell Edson (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009)



by Seth Bockley

I savored every Saturday
when she rendered
up to the gods what was theirs
(a burnt offering:
crisp edged plank of glistening
smoked pork in its glory).
at five, I marveled at the marbled
slab of sizzle–
standing on a chair, my eyes watering,
as before me a transubstantiation occurred:
bacon became Bacon, my mouth gaped adrool–
and still that sizzle echoes
through time’s larders
and the years’ open windows,
her gingham curtains wafting
as fat is forever rendered
into memory and hickory-smoke

~ finalist, 2011 Baconfest Chicago Poetry Contest, Copyright © 2011 Seth Bockley


“Cup of Joe” by Mick McGinty

by Linda Pastan

You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.

But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?

You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
living surface.

~ from Insomnia by Linda Pastan (W.W. Norton, 2015).


I love entering the worlds of these poems, hearing the voices. It’s like having interesting company at the breakfast table, isn’t it? 🙂


poetry fridayThe eminently talented Julie Larios is hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record. After you’ve had your second cup of coffee, scamper over and peruse the full menu of poetic goodies being shared in the blogosphere this week. Have a great holiday weekend!

Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

34 thoughts on “weekend breakfast poetry buffet

  1. I ate, and it was good. My soul is replete. I love those photos where a few brush strokes of bacon glisten. I especially love the sunrise bacon landscape with a few why pieces of parsley. It quite made me smile, Jama.


    1. Glad you had a nice nosh here this morning, Brenda. I think the bacon landscape was actually an Oscar Meyer ad at some point. Thought it was cleverly done. 🙂

      I love that line too — “ingenue in the east.” I also like “morning splits open again.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You said there would be bacon, Jama, and there was! I read these poems with my Cheerios and strawberries, and you are so right — it was like having company for breakfast. xo


  3. Such a variety of verse–perfect for a breakfast buffet, Jama!

    I just love the possibility in this last line of Linda Pastan’s poem: I set
    the table, glance out the window
    where dew has baptized every
    living surface.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m taking away more than hunger pangs with this post, Jama! From “A Litany of Toast”: “the tender crack and sizzle as / morning splits open again.” Mmmmm…. From “Breakfast”: A rhyming quatrain, maybe on the side /would be ok, but not too much — / they sometimes give me gas.” Haha! And from “Imaginary Conversation”: “You grind the coffee / with the small roar of a mind /
    trying to clear itself.” Seriously? Does it get any better?


    1. Thanks for stopping by to nosh with us, Michelle. Now that you’ve feasted on these poems you’re all set for a good weekend. 🙂


  5. When I was a child, I absolutely loved what my father would say at the end of every meal, “I have dined sufficiently.” I don’t know where he got that from, actually, or why he would say it, but when I was wee, it was very posh and proper, and honestly, I feel like saying that after these poems. I have dined sufficiently. And now it’s time for tea.


  6. So, so beautiful, Jama. How can we possibly pick. I must admit that although not really real, your post sent that bacon aroma through the house, memories to cling to! I love “Cracked Egg” & the poem “Rendering” is wonderful: “marbled
    slab of sizzle”-yum! Thank you for a beautiful wake up.


    1. Glad that bacon sizzle got you going, Linda. I do love the smell of bacon cooking — also fresh coffee even though I don’t drink coffee.


  7. Mmmmm, Jama – thank you for this perfect feast. (Well, I won’t take the bacon, but that gives me extra pancakes, right?) Maria and Michelle “took” by favorite lines from all that goodness above; guess that just means I love the company over here as much as I love the dishes! XO
    [And I love the “Cracked Egg” and “Cup of Joe” paintings – downright sensual for so early in the day….]


    1. Yes, definitely extra pancakes and toast and biscuits and jam for you! Glad you enjoyed the art, too. Feast your eyes :).


  8. As my boss is fond of saying, “Everything is better with bacon!” Even poetry! The last two lines of “Rendering” are delicious!


  9. Jama, Thank you for a great post. Delicious poems that taste good in my mouth. Bacon is definitely the reason I’m not a vegetarian.


  10. My first poem was about pancakes. Unfortunately, not publication material! (Slowly I lifted it to my mouth, it traveled through my body south….) So I love reading *good* poems about pancakes! LOL


  11. Jama,

    Great selection of poems for your Poetry Friday breakfast buffet! I love poems about poetry…and about food. They are all yummy!


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