Monday, November 06, 2006

Cooking Up Trouble

When the prompt is the Moosewood Cookbook, you can't be surprised when the following poem spills out:

Cooking Up Trouble

Sneaking up the walkway
and through the back door
carrying a recipe filled with lessons
from the great books,

you mix together ingredients
that can be separated
only once
and even then you take your chances.

You start with young hope
sifted through intent and
measured nicely by honest hands
hoping that alone will suffice.

But of course it can’t.
So from the back cabinet
you reach for promises
waiting to be made and kept

and add them with fanfare,
simply because they must be mixed
with integrity--
otherwise they curdle at the first neglect.

This bowl can hold whatever you throw at it,
but not neglect.
And that is because some recipes
when they’re fudged or forsaken

fall into a million pieces
so even the great godesss can not reconstruct them,
and least of all you with your limited skills.
Better to take your time and measure
well enough, really well enough

So that when the rising’s done
you become whole
from those ingredients
you cooked up yourself.


  1. Oh kj, I am just awed by your amazing ability to compose such heartwarming poetry. Your words are medicine for an aching heart and a screwed up mind.

  2. ces, that aching heart and screwed up mind reside in a totally fantastic person. i'm here to remind them both that they are warm, brillant, creative, and clever. and absolutely the best.


  3. I loved this!
    I admire people who can write such talented poetry - I don't have the skill.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mmm... I love the Moosewood cookbook.

  5. you are such a good writer/poet. thank you for sharing.

    KJ, i sometimes find it hard to leave a comment least i write it the wrong way. i do hope you know that I often go to your blog for insight and inspiration.


    PS: by the way, I tagged you, please do check my meme for today. =)

  6. I love it! (and I can hear you reading it ... which makes it extra great) I love the cooking terms mixed in ... like an authorly brew in a cauldron. xo

  7. Wonderful wisdom in lovely words.

    Beautiful, Karen.

  8. "So from the back cabinet
    you reach for promises
    waiting to be made and kept"

    still my favorite