masterchef australia
by Sheikha A.

A cage of silk is weaved over
a spoon — sugar transformed.

People over a stove are
what magic is made from.

My only skill of knowing
the coldness of a kitchen is

not knowing how the whites
of an egg is turned to lace
on a bed of yolk

and cryptic letters of power
that become edible commodities.

My flair at recipes remain
carvings on old caves —

battling a spoon in a bowl.

I watch cooks master a plate;
imagine myself primly poised

over a steam of slow-cooking
fantasies; serving a fleet

from scraps; I see vapours
become aromas

while all I can do is look
through the glass,

write a ballad
on how I couldn’t
feed hunger.

PHOTO: MasterChef Australia Season 7 (2015) winner Billie McKay (left) and finalist Georgia Barnes.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem watching MasterChef Australia, a program I think that is sheer poetry on a plate! The creation process of food bedazzles me, for never having cooked beyond simple dishes that suffice to fill the stomach on a hungry day, and from never having tested my hands at creating a boastful dish, I envy cooks and their ability to walk into a kitchen and see possibilities, while all I feel is anxiety for not knowing the names of simple ingredients!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in over 80 literary venues so far, including several anthologies by different presses. She edits poetry for eFiction India. More about her can be accessed on her blog