poetry friday roundup is here!

Please help yourself to a floral cupcake, macarons, chocolates and green tea.

Happy May and Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup.

Mother’s Day is a holiday of mixed emotions. It’s true what they say: you never stop missing your mother. Mine has been gone eight years.

I’m thankful for those little reminders of her abiding presence; especially poignant are snippets of her handwriting in old cookbooks or on recipe cards.

via Adirondack Girl @ Heart
MOTHER'S DAY MEMO

                     Remembering Ida

by Anita Pulier

Breathe in her scent,
thumb through food stained pages,
touch her buttery finger prints.

Remove her little notes
on more garlic or less wine,
place them in your jewelry box

in case they contain
secrets, it's time
to find Mom's clues.

Bow your head to
this unique holiday offer
of sensory overload.

Recall family dinners crowded
around an orange banquette
curving around a Formica table,

kitchen walls
strewn with flowered wallpaper
insisting on cheer.

Allow a moment to grieve
the loss of unconditional love.

Pour a nice cup of tea,
open the Times online,
place the cursor
on the world you live in now.

~ from The Butcher's Diamond (Finishing Line Press, 2018), posted by permission of the author.

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“Lina’s Kitchen” by Yelena Mirchevskaya

ANITA:

My mother Ida was born in the back room of her immigrant parents’ Brooklyn grocery store. The family would gather for meals in that same back room, sitting around a barrel that served as a table.

In her own home Mom insisted on family dinners in the dining room and took pride in her cooking. She was a fabulous self taught cook. She collected recipes in a small filing box. On those cards and in her cookbooks (all of which I inherited) are little notes and observations that fill me with memories and longing when I pull one out.

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My mother Margaret was also a self taught cook who kept recipes in a small filing box. The poem’s title, “Mother’s Day Memo,” is especially apt, since Margaret worked in an office and often typed memos (and recipe cards) on her slick IBM Selectric. When she sent me some of those recipes after I moved to Virginia, she’d often scribble helpful tips in the margins. She’s still teaching me. 🙂

I have many fond memories of sitting at my grandmother’s red Formica kitchen table (where I helped my aunts wrap hundreds of dumplings). Whether you grew up in New York or Hawaii, food memories, with their “sensory overload,” may just be the most nourishing of all, since they speak of family and friends together, our unique cultural and social histories, happy chatter, spoons and glasses clinking.

What we wouldn’t give for just one more sip of our mothers’ unconditional love. ♥️

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Now, please leave your links with the dashing Mr. Linky (he’s feeling especially peckish today). Enjoy your travels through blogland as you sample the delectable smorgasbord of original poems, reviews, poetry challenges, and commentary being shared by our friends this week.

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🌹 Happy Mother’s Day to all, and special thanks to Anita for letting me share her poem today! 🌹

*


*Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

72 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. What a beautiful tribute to mothers and poetry Jama– thank you! I love the poem, but I will take issue with “the loss of unconditional love.” As you know, My mother passed in 2016 and I feel her love and support around me still always, maybe even more so now that all the physical barriers are gone. I realize this view may be “out there” for some, but it is very much truth to me. The bond and the love never die!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree the bond and the love never die, and you indeed have a very strong spiritual connection with your mom (a beautiful thing). As for me, I feel my mom’s presence yet do miss the temporal aspect of our relationship.

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  2. Thanks for hosting us, Jama! I wish I could fill my plate with your goodies and I wish I could sit down at the kitchen table with mom one more time. There’s so much I didn’t say, so much I need to ask. Like you, I take comfort from her handwriting on recipe cards. Just this week, I made “Aunt Mattie’s Banana Bread,” and when I flipped the card over, I found a little genealogical chart that shows how I’m related to Aunt Mattie. She’s my great-great aunt. And her banana bread recipe has passed the test of time! Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful to hear about Aunt Mattie and her famous banana bread. Love hearing about recipes being passed down through generations! I’m with you on wishing for one more conversation — to ask things I didn’t get a chance to ask, to say what I wish I had said. For me, the sound of her voice lingers in my mind, moreso than any physical image.

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  3. Love your post Jama, and Anita’s poem, especially the last stanza that lands us so seamlessly in present time! Fun collage of pics and recipes, and that image of you looking up at your mom is priceless! My mom is a self-taught cook too, and a wonderful one. My complements to you and the bears for the inviting tea arrangement–both tables are divine, and thanks for hosting us this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My thoughts are with birds today, and many days. They seem to have a poetic existence — as they can fly (mostly) and hover (like hummingbirds and many others). Today an angry goose charged at me and actually hit me! But I love the birds in art, in poems, and in real life.

    Recently my sister was following a recipe in our mother’s handwriting, in a notebook my mother wrote. I felt the same as you did — but my mother died in 1967.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As you quoted in your post, birds are spiritual messengers. I’ve always believed that. Sorry to hear about that angry goose!! He/she probably inspired the term “wild goose chase.” 😀 There’s something so special about a handwritten recipe, isn’t there?

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  5. What a lovely Mother’s Day post you’ve shared with us all, Jama. I still treasure my mother’s recipe cards, too, and like Mary Lee, wish I could sit down with my mother at the table one more time. Thanks so much for hosting this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My mom was a wonderful cook and so your post spoke to me. I miss her a lot. We all have to place the cursor on today’s world, don’t we, as Pulier’s lovely and evocative poem says.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I’d rather not place that cursor on today’s reality (scarier, more dangerous, more frustrating, more bewildering than ever). I love hearing about your mom’s restaurant adventures. She was more than a wonderful cook!

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    1. Oh yes, those Betty Crocker cookbooks! I have the BC Cookie Book (stolen from my aunt). Love the vintage recipes and photos in it. 🙂

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  7. So poignant and powerful, Jama – Anita’s words, your words… all the precious pictures. Thank you for a beautiful post. I’m grateful each day to still have my mother; we’re all getting older!
    [Getting in visits with my kids this weekend and don’t have a post, but I left a signpost to yours.]
    Extra hugs to you this weekend – xoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we’re all getting older. I like to think of it this way: old on the outside, forever young on the inside. Hat tip to Bob Dylan. 😀

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    1. Thanks, Tim. I hope you realize I have to eat all those things in my pictures. Tough work, but somebody’s gotta do it. 🙂

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  8. Why thank you for the floral cupcake. I really MUST go back to some sort of healthy diet…right after Mother’s Day. My Mom has been gone for 13 years. Her recipes are treasures that my children don’t yet understand. I’m so glad for the poem and permission to return to today’s world after a moment. Thank you, Jama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someday your kids will treasure those recipes as well as yours. “Diet” is a dirty word — after all, the word “die” is in it. To live is to eat!

      Like

  9. I love the title “MOTHER’S DAY MEMO”, Jama, a marvelous way to bring the “memo – ries” back when our mothers are no longer here to be with. And loved your own memories, sounds so much like mine, the formica table, no dumplings, but homemade noodles! We are blessed to have had that love. Thank you for a special post for mothers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I hadn’t thought of “memo” in terms of memories! The obvious escapes me sometimes. . . drooling at the thought of homemade noodles. Have a delicious Mother’s Day, Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love that you are hosting us today, Jama, when someone is wolfing soup on my blog!
    This is such a tender post. How beautiful are buttery fingerprints? And your styling is delectable – as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that big bad wolf — or is he/she? My resident oinkers love your post and hope your new book is available in the US soon. xo

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    1. Hi Margo! I wish I had more photos of my mom and me together. General concensus in our family is that we don’t look alike (I supposedly take after my dad’s side). I did inherit her love of sweets, though. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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  11. O deliciousness! I would argue that the mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complicated…I return to it again and again in my writing. I love these connections to food and memories, Jama. Thank you for giving us a bit of your mother today. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This post makes me catch my breath with its beauty and haunting truth, one I understand even more after losing my dad. I will make crepes for my mom this weekend, and we will have sweet time together as I appreciate every moment. The poem you shared is going right into my notebook…and now I want to pull out the cookbooks of the mothers of mothers in my family. Thank you for this lovingi and so gorgeous post, and Happy Mother’s Day to you, Jama. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yum, crepes! What time should I come over? Enjoy the special day with your mom, Amy. Glad you liked Anita’s poem. Old cookbooks are a special kind of history. Don’t even have to make any of the recipes to appreciate them. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom!

      Like

  13. It’s amazing to me that it’s been eight years already since your mother passed, Jama. We’ve known each other a while.
    Sweet poem — “finding Mom’s clues” ❤
    I love the look of the frosting flowers on the cupcake. Can I split one with you?
    Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was shocked when I counted and couldn’t believe it’s been 8 years. Part of me still thinks if I fly to Hawaii and drive up to my parents’ old house, they’ll be there waiting . . .

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  14. Jama, Your posts are always inspirational. I almost lost my mother last fall. She became seriously ill and was hospitalized for 55 days, eight of which were in ICU on a ventilator! (It was not COVID.) I had some special moments with her during this time and you reminded me that I should write about them before she’s gone. Thank you! (And, thanks for hosting!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, sorry to hear about your mom’s illness, but so relieved she recovered. An already stressful and worrisome situation was probably exacerbated by the COVID restrictions, etc., back then. 55 days is a long time to be hospitalized!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Jama, I love the photos of your mom mixed in with her recipes. What a beautiful poem and tribute.
    Thanks so much for hosting this shindig.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a handwriting freak, I can attest to the fact that her freeflowing, loopy script matched her personality — generous and open.

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  16. Jama, I am here with my computer open looking for a ricotta cookie recipe. I remember my Nonnie baking delicious soft cookies dipped in lemon frosting. Your blog post fills my house with my own kitchen memories based on baking. I wish I had Nonnie’s recipes. Cookies were her specialty and my love. The poems you chose would be great mentor texts for me. Thank you for always dishing up elaborate and tasty posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jama, thank you for this wonderful post so full of beautiful word and photo images and tributes to our mothers. I understand the emotion in “buttery fingerprints.” I remember my own mother greeting us home from school in the kitchen with a flour dusted apron, rolling pin and fresh heart-shaped soft molasses cookies. She passed away fifteen years ago. I love it when she appears in dreams!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, heart-shaped molasses cookies!! How lucky you were! My mom sometimes appears in my dreams too. Mothers are always with us, watching over us, making sure we’re okay.

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  18. Thank you for having us over to yours, Jama.
    My mom is still alive, but lives in a different country. I know the day will come that she’ll no longer be here, but I don’t like to think about that.
    Your blog reminds me of how much my mom’s cooking felt like home when I was young. And I feel regretful that my children won’t have that warm embrace – I don’t enjoy cooking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lou. I know what it’s like to have one’s mom live far away. At least these days we have more options to keep in touch. You’re right — a mother’s (or grandmother’s) cooking does feel like home.

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  19. Jama, such a beautiful post and tribute to mothers! I have my mother’s cookbooks with some of her writing. I really like those photos of your mom and you. Those macaroons and chocolate with flowers on them look yummy and your China is beautiful! I have some of my mother’s teapots that she collected. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gail (and thanks for subscribing!). Happy to hear you also have your mother’s cookbooks with writing in it! Since we rarely see real penmanship anywhere any more, these handwritten notes are even more precious. Your mom collected teapots? My kind of woman!! 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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  20. This power of food memories, and the hands and faces that create them, is exactly the reason why I always scheduled chapter book read-alouds during snack time at school. “Take in the words, the story, the voices, the invisible map of the setting, at the same time as you are feeding your physical senses with literal food.” Is that you looking sideways up at your mom in the center photo? LOVE that photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s me looking up (my mom was a tall Asian: 5’6″ (I’m only 5’3″). We were standing in my grandma’s front yard (the setting for my PB Dumpling Soup).

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  21. Thank you for hosting this week, Jama! “Mother’s Day” memo is such a rich, evocative poem. I feel fortunate that I have so many treasures from my grandmother’s kitchen. Her name was Ida, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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