Thursday, November 19, 2009

Love Uses Spices and Herbs (Twoem)

I participated on November 10 in another hour-long poetry jam on Twitter, hosted by @tspoetry. Our prompts, which changed frequently throughout the hour, all had to do with fruits, spices, and herbs. The "raw" tweets are here. The "twoem" (Twitter poem) crafted from my and other participating poets' tweets is here; it's called "The Walled Garden of Spices and Herbs". Its editor was Glynn Young of FaithFictionFriends, one of the founders of TweetSpeakPoetry.

Earlier, L.L. Barkat, another of the TweetSpeak founders and the force behind Random Acts of Poetry and many other creative online ventures, issued a call to blog readers to "cook us up a poem" around the theme we used November 10: fruits, herbs, and spices or, alternatively, information from a favorite recipe book or books. The contributions to RAP are posted here.

I decided to pull my tweets from the poetry jam and try to rework them into a new twoem or series of twoems. I took a few liberties, primarily breaking up some phrases or lines that originally appeared together so that I could use them with other phrases or lines, repeating some lines for effect, and adding punctuation. What follows is:

Love Uses Spices and Herbs
But It Sure Is Different


How does one tell
the differences,
one herb from another?

'Tis not like love:
Run hot or cold,
it makes no sense.

     * * *

If Chanterelle, the very name,
or truffle be the prize,
delicate as air but spongy,
thyme goes slowly.

When used to mimic time's passage,
it is as spice, scent rising
like a song on lips,
filling the room with nature's odes
to what's most natural:

Cheek left bright scarlet,
color of love.

     * * *

A single layer
of tea leaves
spread out upon my table
where I read your signs:

He shall not wait
what we tend so carefully.

He shall not wait
for hibiscus tea,
knowing not the labor
I take to pick its delicate leaves.

He shall not wait,
perchance that lap
that bids him near
holds greater flavor.

He shall not wait
to court.

Unable to tend
the garden of my love,
he shall not wait.

He shall not wait
to wreck
that piercing clove,
to bring an end to it
till life be spent,

Shame and regret
be left.

Set out on golden pillow
there on soil,
I read your signs:

Love leaves him ever.

     * * *

When love be done,
thyme hath no pride:

Night falls fast,
heart in walled garden
beats with sharpest pain.

Hot and bittersweet
be the blood,
color of nasturtium,
color of sin.

We have nothing left
about which to sing.

     * * *

Leavings of laurel
fallen along the pathway,
their taste hangs on my tongue
as do the seeds of your crime
to which you shrug.

     * * *

Who tends those hearts not
to oblivion send.

Those who make of love
a funeral
be rushed to gather up
what's left
to make a meal,
to bring an end to it.

     * * *

What say you
of prize won,
or wanting?

Where you led astray
what once was unopened,
your heart did gather unto itself.

You speak a tongue red with lies,
fiery, red, unforgiving,
as one in sun too long left
grown foul,
a bitter root,

Each clove piercing deeper,
leaving nothing more
than traces of love
evergreen no more,
shame and regret,
nothing left about which to sing.

     * * *

So try again
with abandoned crowns of laurel
to say thus:

Snow peas,
their gentle pod
a sweet curved pod,
a cradle for love remembered.

Each one a sweet reminder
of love whose favor
was ever quintessential,
flavored by spice.

Ambrosia of love
in all its wondrous varieties:

A pinch of nutmeg, touch of black pepper,
cloves to cut the too-sweet taste,
chilies whose colors betray not
the peppery tang of deceit.

Crowned with bay
when shade might
like a gentle canopy
restore soft salmon cheeks,

the cherry rose of lips,
the deep mahogany of hair.

Almonds like the shape
of your eyes
intoxicate;
equally as well, cinnamon,
the color of your eyes
that bewitch:

Elixir of cinnamon and almonds
to make the heart
golden again.

     * * *

Spices:
their taste hangs on my tongue
each one a sweet reminder of love.

     * * *

A hunt of love
she calls for.

Sparkling with abandoned crowns
of laurel, perhaps parsley,
grinding down
to just-right measure
for a most delecticious poem:

Sight and smell and taste
left satisfied
intoxicate,
giving lift to love.

3 comments:

Glynn said...

Our tweet parties are great fun -- and what you've done here is an example of how great fun can also produce great beauty. "Elixir of cinnamon and almonds/ to make the heart/ golden again." And to mold words, thoughts and images into a sparkling, unique gem. Wonderful.

L.L. Barkat said...

I found something to take away. Come and see tomorrow. :)

Ah, but all of it is enchanting.

nAncY said...

it is like you took all the words and said "bibbity bobbity boo" and they all danced and wove around and settled into place in a wonderful way!