Archives for posts with tag: fruit

umeboshi
Self-Portrait with Umeboshi
by Robert Okaji

Our resemblance strengthens each day.

Reddened by sun and shiso,
seasoned with salt,

we preside, finding
comfort in failure. Or does
the subjugation of one’s flavor for another’s

define defeat? The bitter, the sour, the sweet
attract and repel

like lovers separated by distances
too subtle to see.
Filling space becomes the end.
What do you learn when you look through the glass?

Knowing my fate, I say fallen. I say earth.

NOTE: Find out more about Umeboshi at wikipedia.org.

okaji

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Okaji’s work has appeared in Boston Review, Otoliths, Prime Number Magazine, Clade Song, and Vayavya, among others. He lives in Texas with his wife and two dogs.

apron
You can tell by the way he slices the cantaloupe
by D.H. Tracy

he is harmless, camera’d
in a muffled parliament of cantaloupe-motions.
For every doubt a speech.

He plans to quarter it and quarter the quarters.
The knife first rehearses
a meridian, then the equator,

then mid-cut tilts
and leaves a tatter on one half’s rim.
You can tell he thinks about

what thought is bad at. You can see
that by comparison a chimp would appear,
within its limitations, deft, while the man

with no limitations with respect to principles of melon-slicing
does not. You can tell
he withholds himself from cantaloupe,

as if frightened they will go extinct and take
costs sunk in the skill of slicing them, and further tell
it will be the same next time, him approaching

the fruit as though newly, wondering if it had
a stone in it, or pith and segments,
or required coring, or stank when punctured,

or would show pleasing shapes in section.
He switches grip,
placing his palm over the fat edge of the blade

because a sock puppet has squeaked,
Safety first.
The rinds parted from the sixteenths

are more or less a waste of flesh, according as thrift
argued with intemperance. You can tell
the impending chunks will be publicly homely, not those

of the cruise ship buffet where the night-shift Neopolitan
surpasses himself with flutes and scallops.
You can tell right off a mind unquiet

and at once absent, now remembering
J. at seventeen,
something out of a Kenyan Vermeer,

smiling elfinly as she sliced the cantaloupe.
You could tell by the way she sliced the cantaloupe

the way one slices a cantaloupe would tell a lot.
He draws the knife
along each inside edge to shave the pulp and seedmatter,

varying pressure, speed, and angle of attack
like a deaf man bowing a cello.
Stutters mark the inner faces. He slices

the slices radially into chunks, and varies
the spacing between the cuts from equal angles,
which makes the pieces too big at the center,

to equal volumes, which makes them too long at the poles.
You can tell, as he squeezes a lime-half over the pile
and steps back to admire his freehanded

benighted by-committee cantaloupe-justice,
he cannot be the children’s hockey coach
or run for office, the erratic hexes him, he

circulates sometimes fogged and twitching in his house,
not wishing you could not tell,
exactly, but wanting out.

Source: Poetry (May 2010).

IMAGE: Garden fresh cantaloupe apron, available at zazzle.com.

dh-tracy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D.H. Tracy‘s poems, essays, reviews, and translations appear widely, including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and The Yale Review. He is the author the poetry collection Janet’s Cottage (St. Augustine’s Press, 2012), winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize, available at Amazon.com. He lives in Illinois.

Image
THE ALMOND TREE (Excerpt)
by D.H. Lawrence

Here there’s an almond tree — you have never seen
  Such a one in the north — it flowers on the street, and I stand
  Every day by the fence to look up for the flowers that expand
At rest in the blue, and wonder at what they mean.

Photo: “Almond Tree” by Kristina Oda, OdaPhotography, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find prints at etsy.com.

Image
ODE TO CRANBERRY SAUCE
by Alex Kre

Cranberry sauce, 

Oh Cranberry Sauce, 

Wherefore doest thou jiggle so? 


 
Holding your shape

Like the great

Tin Cylinder

From which you sprung…


 
If I were to poke you, 

Oh Cranberry Sauce, 

Would your jiggle

Yield to my finger? 


 
And if I were

To launch you

With a giant slingshot —
You know…those big ones

That need 3 people

To use them 
Would you bounce

Back to me? 

Would you jiggle

Your way home? 


 
Or would you

Explode into

A hundred million

Little Cranberry Sauces, 

All jiggling together

In perfect harmony?

Image
AUGUST MORNING
by Albert Garcia

It’s ripe, the melon
by our sink. Yellow,
bee-bitten, soft, it perfumes
the house too sweetly.
At five I wake, the air
mournful in its quiet.
My wife’s eyes swim calmly
under their lids, her mouth and jaw
relaxed, different.
What is happening in the silence
of this house? Curtains
hang heavily from their rods.
Ficus leaves tremble
at my footsteps. Yet
the colors outside are perfect–
orange geranium, blue lobelia.
I wander from room to room
like a man in a museum:
wife, children, books, flowers,
melon. Such still air. Soon
the mid-morning breeze will float in
like tepid water, then hot.
How do I start this day,
I who am unsure
of how my life has happened
or how to proceed
amid this warm and steady sweetness?

Poem copyright © by Albert Garcia from his book Skunk Talk (Bear Starr Press, 2005), available at Amazon.com.

Painting: “Melon,” watercolor by Ema Angelova, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Image
WATERMELONS
by Charles Simic

Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charles Simic (born May 9, 1938), a Serbian-American poet, was co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for The World Doesn’t End, and was a finalist of the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for Selected Poems, 1963-1983 and in 1987 for Unending Blues. He was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

“Watermelons” is found in Charles Simic’s poetry collection Return to a Place Lit by a Glass of Milk (George Braziller, 1974), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The book is available at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Watermelons at Julia’s Fruit Stand” (Los Molinos, CA) by Michelle Hickock, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image
Today we honor Frida Kahlo, the groundbreaking artist who was born on a summer day (July 6, 1907) and passed away on a summer day (July 13, 1954). Like her husband, the celebrated painter Diego Rivera (1886-1957), the subject of Kahlo’s last painting was the watermelon — the essence of all things summer. We raise a slice of summer to Frida and Diego — and thank them for their sublime art. Kahlo’s last painting includes the phrase “Viva La Vida” — long live life — as exemplified by the wonders of the watermelon.

When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.” MARK TWAIN

For the curious, Diego Rivera‘s last painting is featured below.

Image

Image
A WARM SUMMER IN SAN FRANCISCO 
by Carolyn Miller

Although I watched and waited for it every day,

somehow I missed it, the moment when everything reached 

the peak of ripeness. It wasn’t at the solstice; that was only
the time of the longest light. It was sometime after that, when

the plants had absorbed all that sun, had taken it into themselves

for food and swelled to the height of fullness. It was in July,
in a dizzy blaze of heat and fog, when on some nights
it was too hot to sleep, and the restaurants set half their tables

on the sidewalks; outside the city, down the coast,
the Milky Way floated overhead, and shooting stars

fell from the sky over the ocean. One day the garden

was almost overwhelmed with fruition:
My sweet peas struggled out of the raised bed onto the mulch
of laurel leaves and bark and pods, their brilliantly colored

sunbonnets of rose and stippled pink, magenta and deep purple
pouring out a perfume that was almost oriental. Black-eyed Susans

stared from the flower borders, the orange cherry tomatoes

were sweet as candy, the corn fattened in its swaths of silk,

hummingbirds spiraled by in pairs, the bees gave up

and decided to live in the lavender. At the market,

surrounded by black plums and rosy plums and sugar prunes

and white-fleshed peaches and nectarines, perfumey melons
and mangos, purple figs in green plastic baskets,

clusters of tiny Champagne grapes and piles of red-black cherries

and apricots freckled and streaked with rose, I felt tears

come into my eyes, absurdly, because I knew

that summer had peaked and was already passing

away. I felt very close then to understanding 

the mystery; it seemed to me that I almost knew

what it meant to be alive, as if my life had swelled

to some high moment of response, as if I could

reach out and touch the season, as if I were inside

its body, surrounded by sweet pulp and juice,

shimmering veins and ripened skin.

“A Warm Summer in San Francisco” was first published in Light, Moving (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2009) and is featured in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology (June 2013).

Image

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Miller is a poet and painter living in San Francisco. Light, Moving, her most recent book of poetry, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press in 2009, and her first full-length collection, After Cocteau, was published by the same press in 2002. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review, among other journals, and her awards include the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah, and the Rainmaker Award from Zone 3She is also the author of a number of cookbooks, including Savoring San Francisco.

PAINTING: “Farmers Market 3” (2005) watercolor on paper (20-75 x 14.25 inches) by Manfred Lindenberger (Foster White Gallery, Seattle, fosterwhite.com).

Image
A PECAN TREE
by Juan Olivarez

The Pecan tree, he’s no one’s fool, 
My papi once told me.
As long as the weather still is cool, 
Not a single leaf, on him you’ll see.

Sometimes it’s May, or maybe June, 
Before his leaves appear.
He never sports new clothes too soon, 
Not until the weather’s clear.

But once in leaf, no tree around, 
Comes close to the Pecan.
With shade and fruit, he does abound, 
Standing in the Texas sun.
(4/3/11 Alton Texas)

Painting: “Texas Trilogy” (1998) — Texas Mockingbirds at their Pecan Tree nest in a landscape of Blue Bonnets (Texas state bird, tree, and flower) — by Jon Janosik, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prints available at natureartists.com.

 

Image

LETTER FROM TOWN: THE ALMOND TREE (Excerpt)
by D.H. Lawrence

Here there’s an almond tree — you have never seen
  Such a one in the north — it flowers on the street, and I stand
  Every day by the fence to look up for the flowers that expand
At rest in the blue, and wonder at what they mean.

Photo: “Almond Tree” by Kristina Oda, OdaPhotography, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find prints at etsy.com.