[savory poem + recipe] sing a song of soup

“It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without soup or bread in it.” ~ M.F. K. Fisher

“Vegetable Soup” by Joe Anna Arnett
SOUP ALLURE
by Nancy Dymond
Combine the following and stir:
A fragrant powder of savory herbs
Tree nuts tossed and gently toasted
Vegetables oiled and slowly roasted
Broth of beef, honey of bee
Flake of parsley, salt of sea

In a great pot over a medium flame
Provoke rolling bubbles of rising steam
Turn to the lettuces; wash, chop, mix
Color with celery and carrot strips
Raisins? Almonds? Olives and cheese?
Tomatoes? Scallions? All of these?

Reduce the flame to a quiet simmer
Set the table for evening dinner
A scalloped knife beside the bread
Jam to sweeten and butter to spread
What more could a person want from life
Than a salad, a soup, and a loaf with a knife?


~ from Sleep Barn (Stockport Flats, 2015).
“Salad Bowl” by Tjalf Sparnaay (oil on linen, 2006)

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It’s always nice when soup season returns each fall. There is something so comforting about having a pot of soup simmering on the stove with its promise of a satisfying meal later on. Making soup is calming and therapeutic — you can’t rush homemade soup.

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a rose by any other name may or may not smell as sweet

“I like my name pronounced by your lips in a grateful, happy accent.” ~ Charlotte Brontë

WHY I CHANGED MY NAME
by Phyllis Wax

My father-in-law calls me Lois,
his other son’s wife.

Mail comes addressed to
Phyllis R. or Phyllis M. Wax.
I don’t have a middle initial.

My daughters call me Mom,
my sons-in-law Mother.
To my grandchildren I’m Meme.

To the waitress at the diner
I’m Honey or Dear.

Some people confuse me
with my good friend. To them
I’m Helen.

Today the mailman brought 
some coupons for Yolanda Wax.  
I kind of like that.
Please call me Yolanda.

~ as posted at Your Daily Poem, October 2021

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Had a good laugh reading Phyllis’s Yolanda’s poem. Talk about being able to relate!

Who hasn’t been called all kinds of different names? Maybe we’ve been given special nicknames by family or friends (Auntie Ella called me “Jade,” Lindsay called me “Eloise,” Tanita calls me “jama-j”). Perhaps our significant others use pet names or terms of endearment (Len calls me “Lulu,” “Curly Top,” “Cutie,” or “Shirley” — I call him “Digby”).

Of course many names are shortened for ease or familiarity: “Bob/Bobby” for Robert, “Dick” for Richard, “Liz/Betty/Betsy” for Elizabeth, “Sam” for Samantha. I’ll never understand “Jack” for John or “Harry” for Henry, though. Why not name him Jack to begin with?

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Hello, November! Enjoying Katie Daisy’s art is the perfect way to celebrate this month of gratitude. As a longtime fan, I can’t get enough of her beautiful illustrations and hand lettering. Wildflowers, forest animals, sea creatures, celestial bodies, and inspirational quotes grace everything from greeting cards and prints to sweatshirts and mugs. 

Her style is unmistakable; you might have seen her work without knowing her name. Uplifting, lovely, nature-rich, joyous, life-affirming, feminine, always a pleasure. It’s feel good stuff.

So, what’s new? She just published her latest book, How to Be a Moonflower: A Field Guide (Chronicle Books, 2021), in August.

I also like that she’s doing tea towels now (just ordered this one). 🙂

There’s never a shortage of wonderful prints — she always chooses the best quotes to illustrate. 

Wild Beauty, her 2021-2022 17-month weekly planner, is gorgeous. It’s overflowing with her beautiful art, and contains pages for notes and gratitudes to keep you moving forward day to day. (It also includes the November quote by Lucy Maud Montgomery shown at the top of this post.)

For lots more, visit Katie’s Official Website and Etsy Shop, The Wheatfield. If you’re in holiday gift shopping mode, this is the place!

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Lunching with Frank O’Hara

“I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.” ~ Frank O’Hara

Lunch hour! Let’s step into Frank O’Hara’s shoes as he scurries around Manhattan.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in “Swing Time” (1936)
STEPS
by Frank O'Hara

How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget’s steeple leaning a little to the left

here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting’s not so blue

where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park’s full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
why not
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we’re all winning
we’re alive

the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building’s no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)

and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining

oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

~ from Lunch Poems (City Lights Books, 1964)
“Dancers in Central Park” by Leonard McCombe (1961)

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All Rise for the Letter A!

#60 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

Any poet who so jubilantly sings the praises of the letter A is a poet after my own heart. 

from Alphabet by Paul Thurlby (2011)
THE LETTER A
by Darren Sardelli

The letter A is awesome!
It's arguably the best.
Without an A, you could not get
an A+ on a test.
You’d never see an acrobat
or eat an apple pie.
You couldn’t be an astronaut
or kiss your aunt goodbye.
An antelope would not exist.
An ape would be unknown.
You’d never hear a person
say “Afraid” or “All Alone”.
The A’s in avocado
would completely disappear
and certain words would be forgot
like “ankle”, “arm”, and “ear”.

Without the A, you couldn’t aim
an arrow in the air.
You wouldn’t ask for apricots
or almonds at a fair.
Aruba and Australia
would be missing from a map.
You’d never use an ATM,
an apron, or an app.
The arctic fox and aardvark
would be absent from the zoo,
and vowels, as you know them,
would be E, I, O, and U.
There wouldn’t be an A chord
on the instruments you play.
Let’s appreciate, admire,
and applaud the letter A!

~ Reprinted from Blast Off! (The School Magazine, 2016), posted by permission of the author.

How fun to consider some of the marvelous things we’d miss in the absence of A!

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