friday feast: renée gregorio’s “Solitude Dinner” (+ a recipe)

“I frequently dream of having tea with the Queen.” ~ Hugh Grant

photo by Jake Chessum

So yes, Hugh’s here.

Funny about that. We have the same recurring dream involving the Queen. Mine would be more along the lines of a daydream, though.

Hugh likes to visit when I’m having breakfast. He’s just as grumpy as I am in the morning, so we don’t talk while we’re eating. We are totally simpatico and I’m polite enough not to mention the big orange juice stain on his shirt. In fact, I give him the last brownie and he doesn’t even have to explain why he deserves it. It takes all my willpower not to call him “Floppy.”

I’m thinking “Notting Hill” is my favorite of all his movies. It could have something to do with Al Green singing “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” but more likely, every time I see that film I remember Saturday mornings at Portobello Road Antiques Market, or the best-I’ve-ever-had lemon sole fry-ups at Geales.

I’m happy to live inside the world of Renée Gregorio’s whimsical poem of gratitude. Here is a kindred spirit who also summons famous and familiar guests to her table. We never really dine alone, do we? At this marvelous place where memory, fantasy, and yearning intersect, it feels good to recognize what truly feeds us.

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cookie capers, reindeer poems, and a holiday blog break

Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight;
Make me a child again just for tonight.”
~ Elizabeth Akers Allen

Ramona Quimby dropped by!

‘Tis the season for cookies, cookies, cookies, those crispy chewy crumbly tokens of love, sweet love ❤️.

If pies are the best part of Thanksgiving, then cookies are definitely the best part of Christmas. We all have our favorites — cookies we make for gifts, parties, exchanges, or just for ourselves (because we deserve it, right?). What will be on your cookie platter this year?

from Baby’s Christmas by Eloise Wilkin (1980)

Hmmmm, let me guess — sugar cookies cut in the shapes of stars, bells, or candy canes? Or maybe Chocolate Crinkles, Snickerdoodles, Mexican Wedding Cakes, rich Butter Cookies or old fashioned Gingerbread? Oh, I know! Molasses Spice! Spritz! Raspberry Thumbprints! Pecan Shortbread, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Classic Chocolate Chip? Maybe you’re into Stained Glass Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, or (you saucy minx) Rum Balls! Oh ho! 🙂

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2016 Poetry Friday Archive

1. “Be Kind” by Michael Blumenthal

2. “Soup” by John McCutcheon

3. TOO MANY TOMATOES by Eric Ode and Kent Culotta

4. “To Blueberries” by Adele Kenny

5. “Cherry Cordial” by Gary Hanna, “Ghazal of Chocolate” by Ed Zahniser, “Chocolate” by Rita Dove

6. FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers’ Market by Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi

7. MY VILLAGE: Rhymes from Around the World by Danielle Wright and Mique Moriuchi

8. ALPHA BETA CHOWDER by Jeanne Steig and William Steig

9. MORE THAN ENOUGH by April Halprin Wayland and Katie Kath

10. Beatrix Potter nursery rhymes: Appley Dapply and Cecily Parsley

11. Four Poems from WHEN GREEN BECOMES TOMATOES by Julie Fogliano and Julie Morstad

12. “On How to Pick and Eat Poems” by Phyllis Cole-Dai

13. WILL’S WORDS by Jane Sutcliffe and John Shelley

14. THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY by Laura Shovan

15. A MOOSE BOOSH: A Few Choice Words About Food by Eric-Shabazz Larkin

16. “My Mother’s Kitchen” by Hope Anita Smith

17. OCTOPUS’S GARDEN by Ringo Starr and Ben Cort

18. Breakfast Poetry Buffet: “A Litany of Toast” by Cathy Lentes, “Breakfast” by Merrill Leffler, “The Life of Man” by Russell Edson, “Rendering” by Seth Bockley, “Imaginary Conversation” by Linda Pastan.

19. WHAT ARE YOU GLAD ABOUT? WHAT ARE YOU MAD ABOUT? by Judith Viorst and Lee White

20. “For the Chocolate Tasters” by Diane Lockward

21. Paul McCartney’s 74th Birthday Celebration

22. THE HORRIBLY HUNGRY GINGERBREAD BOY: A San Francisco Story by Elisa Kleven

23. “The Self-Playing Instrument of Water” by Alice Oswald

24. SOMOS COMO LAS NUBES/WE ARE LIKE THE CLOUDS by Jorge Argueta and Alfonso Ruano

25. “Ode to Chocolate” by Lesléa Newman

26. MISS MUFFET, OR WHAT CAME AFTER by Marilyn Singer and David Litchfield

27. On Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature

28. NO FAIR! NO FAIR! by Calvin Trillin and Roz Chast

29. ARE YOU AN ECHO? THE LOST POEMS OF MISUZU KANEKO by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, Michiko Tsuboi, and Toshikado Hajiri

30. “Poetry is the Art of Not Succeeding” by Joe Salerno + Roundup

31. “I’m Still Standing” by Janis Ian + James’ 102nd Birthday

32. “Eggs Satori” by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

33. “Ode to Spoons” by Joan Logghe

34. “Eating a Herd of Reindeer” by Kevin Pilkington, “Reindeer Report” by U.A. Fanthorpe

*A link to this archive can be found in the sidebar of this blog.

friday feast: “eggs satori” by karen greenbaum-maya

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Breakfast Piece” by Herbert Badham (1936)

During these trying times, each of us finds a way to cope. The response I’m hearing most often from my author and illustrator friends is, “Make Something Beautiful.”

The simple act of creating something new is not only life affirming — it affords the creator the calm that comes with total immersion in a project. Writers often talk about “being in flow,” when you lose all sense of time and place, and the only thing that matters is the work.

I liken “being in flow” with mindfulness. When we are fully present there is no worry over future events or regret about the past.

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friday feast: Lesléa Newman’s “Ode to Chocolate” (+ recipe and giveaway winner!)

“Nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen.” ~ George Lang

Ready to take a walk on the dark side?

Slip into these luscious chocolate beauties, then gently sashay through the lines of this impassioned verse by acclaimed author, poet and editor Lesléa Newman.

Can you tell she  LOVES ♥  chocolate?

Yeah, she’s totally one of us. 🙂

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ODE TO CHOCOLATE

I need a sweet, I need a treat,
I need to eat some chocolate.

Dark as wood and so damn good,
If I could, I’d live on chocolate.

Shaped like a kiss, delivers bliss,
The deep abyss of chocolate.

Just one bite, I’m up all night,
Such is the might of chocolate.

You’ll never wed me or even bed me
Until you’ve fed me chocolate.

I’m sick and sure the only cure
Is more and more pure chocolate.

The smallest bite brings huge delight,
High as a kite from chocolate.

I drink it hot, right from the pot,
Nothing hits the spot like chocolate.

A day without, I’m sure to pout
And shout out, “Give me chocolate!”

I must confess, I’m one hot mess
Unless I possess chocolate.

Without that cocoa, I go loco,
This ain’t no joke—oh chocolate!

Before I dribble, I’ll end this scribble,
I need to nibble chocolate!

~ Copyright © 2016 Lesléa Newman. All rights reserved.

Dark Chocolate Lucky Cats via Not on the High Street

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Lesléa: I was on a self-imposed week-long writing retreat, between projects, not knowing what on earth to write about. When in doubt, I always turn to poetry and when in double doubt, I frequently turn to form.

“Ode to Chocolate” is a variation on the ghazal, one of my favorite forms. The ghazal originated in Persia, and literally means “the talk of boys and girls” or sweet talk. I took the notion of “sweet talk” literally and decided to write a love poem to one of my great loves — chocolate! The form of the ghazal  uses internal rhyme and a refrain at the end of the second line of each couplet. It does not tell a story like a narrative poem, but is unified by theme.

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