Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday Scribblings #225 - Food

My response to the Sunday Scribbling prompt of Food:
This is a form called a Dectina Refrain that a friend of mine, Catherin Mackie, from Bleeding Moon Poetry blog created. Here are the rules if anyone wants to try, or just count and check up on me:
A Dectina Refrain is:

1 syllable
2 syllables
3 syllables
4 syllables
5 syllables
6 syllables
7 syllables
8 syllables
9 syllables

Repetition of syllables 1/2/3/4 to make a logical free-standing statement that is the emphasis of the poem.

the warm
crusty bread
My offering
fresh from the oven
kneading, resting, rising
I become my grandmother.
Standing in her warm, safe kitchen,
we are together, a communion,
generously passing out bread and love

Smell the warm crusty bread, my offering

the warm
crusty bread.
My offering
fresh from the oven
this is the bread of life
not that flat, tasteless wafer
they pass out on Sunday morning
bread from heaven, but we are earthy

Smell the warm, crusty bread. My offering

And here is another food themed poem. It is pretty much an actual conversation I had with my mom when I was about 7 years old. I can still remember how puzzled I was with that reasoning, that my overeating would help someone who was starving. It was in all earnestness that I suggested sending my food to China, so I was really surprised when my mom was angry with me. I started to make it this conversation into a Dectina Refrain, but it just wouldn’t fit, but I sort of like the idea of it, so here it is in free verse:

your plate
children are
starving in China

Can I send them
my extra?

Young lady
don’t you talk back!
Clean your plate
Children are starving
in China


  1. Oh yes, could smell that bread..the build up of syllables made it feel like the rising of dough..very clever..a feast of words..(and your 'clean your plate poem' must certainly echo around many homes..great..) Jae

  2. Great poetry! I think I had that same conversation with my mom! And I love the bread poem. Really invokes the sense of smell. Thanks for sharing your talent.

  3. These are two clever, meaningful poems. The 'clean your plate, people are starving somewhere' argument was used on me well over 70 years ago.

  4. Terrific poems, both. The first I found quite meaningful; the second brought me back to my parents' table. I well remember the "clean your plate" is so well ingrained that I still do it, hungry or not!

  5. The ascending number of syllables certainly expands and explains the the gist of the poem. Cleaning your plate may have satisfied one mother another may have thought you didn't have a enough!

  6. This interesting swelling poem was fascinating and the clean your plate a succinct statement of an earnest dilemma that somehow keeps getting passed down through generations.

  7. I loved the syllable poem, very clever and as for the 2nd...I still eat everything on my plate even today! :o)

  8. Thank you all for reading! I've changed the second poem, since it didn't fit the form, I pared away some of the excess! I appreciate your comments so much :o)

  9. Mary, you're a star. You have slapped what is, for me, really just a ritual squarely in the face. I am a Christian but I'm not into rituals.

    And, need I say that we have ALL been subjected to cleaning our plates... I used to hide my peas (hate them to this day) under my empty gemsquash skin - to no avail - I had to sit at that table and eat those horrible freshly picked from the garden peas... I could eat them raw, but not cooked... I have made a conscious effort not to do the same with my kids... when I slip up it's 'do you know how many kids in Soweto would kill for that plate of food you're wasting?'

  10. Hi Marion - thanks so much. This one is problematic for me....
    That clean your plate thing does seem to be universal, lol. I have tried not to do it as well, but it can be a challenge!

  11. Thank you for introducing me to this form. I am going to give it a shot.

  12. Would like to thank you for stopping by my blog and for the kind words. I'm so happy you did because it lead me to this beautiful poem! I adore this!

  13. Rallentanda - great, I look forward to reading it!