Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Poem

In 2006, RTE's Poetry Programme, then compered by Pat Boran, put out a call for poems for Valentine's day. I was standing in the kitchen, making a meal for mise agus himse when I remembered that my mum used to say that the way to a man's heart was through his stomach. Not the sort of thing that makes sense to a small child, but how it resonates years later.

This is from Kairos and yes, I think I have hauled this out before...

The Garden of Earthly Delights

In the kitchen, Valentine,
it will begin with the green
curlicues of garlic shoots hid
in the cold shelf of the fridge.

The prying, bulging eyes of spuds
will wink in the clammy closeness
of their plastic bag. All being pulled
spring-tight tonight, through the tilting

built into their bolting seed husks.
And you too will respond with the flick
in your loins, the click in your head
as my hands riot in the radishes,

tease out the aubergine chunks,
toss together pillows of cherry tomatoes
and delight in these firm ruins
of last year's seedpods. There,

Valentine, is where you will begin.

8 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

I suddenly feel that the rest of us should let you two alone in the kitchen...
x

Liz said...

Brava! Barbara, I remember hearing it on Pat Boran's programme...something is cooking in the kitchen, indeed... : ) very nice, cheers.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Jayney makck B ,riotin in da radishios ? -have ye a license fer dat?

BarbaraS said...

You think, Rachel? ;) Hee hee...

Thanks Liz... ;)

TFE, I got me raditches license a long time ago: how d'ya tink I ended up wid six feicers, eh?

Kay said...

I love this poem! It was great to read it again. How apt, too.

Dick said...

Eros and eating - a common but seldom happy shared territory. This is an absolute delight. I'm with Rachel. We're just getting our coats...

Dick said...

Er... 'happily', that would be.

BarbaraS said...

Thanks Dick... not that I meant anyone had to get their coats ;)

Thank you Kay - it ges down well at readings too.