Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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Archive for the tag “food”

Poetry Friday: “Cat Breath”

I was going through some of my old(er) poetry and stumbled upon a short poem I wrote almost exactly 13 years ago, in late Feb. 2001.

At the time, we had a cat my daughter had named Dozey – a black kitty poetryfridaybutton-fulllwho always looked like he was napping, even when he was awake! Anyway, he had come over to me and started rubbing his face in mine, as cats often do, and it was at that moment I was struck by how horrendously putrid his breath was – we’re talking eye-tearing, nose-numbing, knock-a-buzzard-off-a-manure-wagon bad.

When I finally regained consciousness, I set about writing my experience down in verse. This is what I came up with. And for more fun, Anasatasia Suen has the complete poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Poet!

Cat Breath (for Dozey)

A cross between some tuna fish
and salmon three days old;
perhaps some stinky cheddar cheese
that’s growing fuzzy mold.
A whiff of bird, a hint of mouse,
the sour milk he had…
what is that one ingredient
that makes cat breath so bad??

© 2001, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

PoetsGarage-badgeTo keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: The Mortimer Minute – with apples!

poetryfridaybutton-fulll

You may have seen a furry little critter bouncing around various kid lit blogs lately…well today, he’s visiting mine!  He’s Mortimer, a buck-toothed troubadour for children’s poetry, and he’s the mascot for a Poetry Blog Hop started by fellow writer/poet April Halprin Wayland.

Here’s how it works:
1) Answer one of the previous questions asked by the blogger who tagged you, and answer two other questions you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview about children’s poetry;
2) Invite one, two or three other bloggers who write children’s poetry to answer three questions that they make up on their own blogs (again, using one of the pervious questions);
3) In the post, let readers know who your invitees are and when they’re are going to be posting their Mortimer Minute questions and answers.

Well, that sounds simple enough!

mortimer-final

1) What project(s) are you working on now?

Upon completing the manuscript for my winter-themed children’s poetry collection last year, I began working on an autumn-themed collection. (I figure, if an editor likes the first one, they’ll know there’s more where that came from!) I still need another 8 or so poems to complete that, but I also wrote and co-wrote two picture book manuscripts this  year and I have two other picture book ideas I’m trying to work on, too!  Is there any way to cram more than 24 hours into a standard ‘day?’

2) How do you come up with the ideas for your poetry?

Ideas are where you find them. I don’t have to look hard to come up with subject matter, but figuring out a unique angle in which to present it or twist it does require a fair amount of brain work. As I mentioned on this blog earlier this week, I try to find the angle that is least expected. For instance, at the Highlights poetry workshop I’ve been telling you about, one of the exercises David Harrison had us do was brainstorm words that had anything to do with a word he would give us. When he said the word was “jar,” everyone in the room was offering up words like “jelly,” “pickles,” and that sort of thing. One person said “sudden stopping movement,” as in the verb, “jar.”

Me? My first thought was Jar Jar Binks, that annoying character from Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I didn’t say anything, though. Even I thought it was a pretty far stretch. But my point is, dare to be different!

3) What poem do you wish you had written? 

None. There is not a single poem anywhere that I wish I’d written. There are some terrific ones out there, like Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” Silverstein’s “The Little Boy and the Old Man,” Thomas Gray’s “Ode on the death of a favorite cat,” Poe’s “To My Mother,” and just about anything Robert Frost ever wrote. But I write my own poetry, and am perfectly content with that – whether it’s any good or not.

I’ve invited two people to join the blog hop:

Violet mug-2Violet Nesdoly is a poet and regular contributor to Poetry Friday.  She’ll post her Mortimer Minute next Friday, Oct. 25.
.

papa j funk logoPapa-J Funk, meanwhile, never claimed to be a poet – although he is quite adept at creating fun and unusual rhymes in his picture book manuscripts. He’ll have his ‘Minute’ Friday, Oct. 25, as well!

Speaking of poetry…

Highlights - tree

…here’s another poem I wrote while at that Highlights poetry workshop.  Ironically, even though the workshop was geared to children’s poetry, this is definitely not a children’s poem! I was inspired to write it the first day I was there because a) it was situated in the field right across from all of our cabins and could not be missed, and b) fellow children’s writer/blogger Joy Acey prompted me to write a ‘nature’-themed poem, which is something I’ve had plenty of practice doing before!

“The Apple Tree”

An old tree
in the field across the road
stood in solitude amidst the sawgrass
and goldenrod
and a few errant wildflowers,
so full of precious fruit
I surmised it must be
in wont of a visitor
with whom to share
its treasures.

Desirous of the beauty
I beheld, I journeyed
through green-amber weeds
high to my waist, urgent
soft steps growing
quicker, quicker
and more deliberate.

The tree beckoned, lifting each coy leaf
to expose
sweet bounty beneath.
Soon, I saw boughs heavy
as the Milky Way, bearing
stars upon stars
that outnumbered
and outshone the very leaves
that held them
in the sky.

Faster and faster I trod, consumed
by a fervent lust
for sustenance;
such succulence I’d never seen!
Closer, closer, I came,
heart and eyes wide and longing
until
breaths away…

I stopped.

Under shade of canopy,
I saw clearly only now
blessed fruit blushed
with blight.

Mold-speckled faces frowned
through borers’ brown holes
while wind-wrinkled skin hung
criss-crossed with blemishes
of age and neglect.
I stared
for only a moment,
then sat close to its trunk,
where low-hanging corpses
mocked my desire…

yet,
I would not leave this spot,
for I knew my hunger
was insatiable, and my thirst
unquenched. Here
I would remain
yearning, never satisfied,
but content
with what could have been.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

For all of today’s Poetry Friday links and info, be sure to visit Cathy at Merely Day By Day!

Highlights - tree close-up

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it!  To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “First Day in the Cafeteria”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllOK, ok…so I’m a bit late. I know, school has already started and here I am without my late pass.

Students have been back to their classes for one or two weeks now and although I had wanted to post this earlier, I kept forgetting!  Between my wife’s and my lack of sleep with the arrival of our new daughter, Phoebe, 4 weeks ago and that 5-day-long weekend announcing gig at the local fair, my time – and my mind – have both taken some serious hits.

But, hey, today’s Friday the 13th! What better day to write about school?!?

And remember…there’s plenty more poetry out there. For the complete Poetry Friday roundup, be sure to visit Jen at Teach Mentor Texts!

“First Day in the Cafeteria”        

They could have served us burgers.
They could have served us fries.
They could have served us mac ‘n cheese
or deep-fried chicken thighs.

They could have served cold pizza
or greasy beef pot pies,
so why oh why – our first day back -
do we get “Chef’s Surprise??”

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it!  To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

Revelations from the fair

HS Fair DSCF1491As you may have heard, I spent this past weekend as the announcer for the local state fair. While it may sound like an easy job – and compared to digging ditches or harvesting shark eggs, it is - it’s actually quite exhausting.

It requires five, 12-hour days of walking the fairgrounds telling attendees what events are happening and when (“The cattle pull is coming up in 15 minutes!” “The Indoor Ring is located right next to the Hood Arena!”), checking in with organizers of various events to make sure they’re on time, and acting as a walking information booth for folks who have questions.

I love the gig; yet, even though I’ve been doing it for a few years now, it’s still a learning experience. Take, for instance, the following 8 things I learned at this year’s fair:

Even birds appreciate irony.  After we dedicated a flagpole to a former fair director who had recently passed away, three doves were released as part of the memorial service. After circling overhead for a couple of minutes, one decided to perch on a giant “Chicken Tenders” sign.

If only I could’ve gotten a picture of that; it was a Facebook meme waiting to happen.

Hershey bars and Whoppers are the most despised candies in the universe.
OK, ‘despised’ is a bit harsh. Let’s go with ‘reviled.’  And I’m not going on personal opinion here. We’re talking about real, cold, hard science. You see, early Thursday morning there was a big basket of assorted candy in the conference room.  It was filled with Snickers, Milky Ways, 3 Musketeers, Twix bars, and a myriad other chocolaty delights. By day two, here’s what it looked like:

candy

Not a Kit Kat or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup to be found. Consider this case, rested.

There are still not enough people standing when our national anthem plays.
This is something I’ve written about at length before.  Everyday at noon, we play the “Star-Spangled Banner” over the PA system. And everyday, only about a third of the people I see (at best) stop what they’re doing, find a flag to face, and place their hands over their hearts. One third stop what they’re doing and look like they’re wondering what’s going on. And another third carry on like nothing’s out of the ordinary at all.

If this is any indication of the level of respect Americans have for their own country, we’re doomed.

Delicious apparently doesn’t always mean what you think it means. When I came across this sign, I had to stop and consider the ramifications of its use of punctuation.:

Delicious

It’s one thing for food to be delicious. But when it’s…”delicious” (go ahead and imagine me making air quotes)…that’s something else entirely.  Think I’ll move on to the guy selling deep-fried pork belly on a stick.

Egyptians like country music.  Well, at least the ones at this fair do.  Every time I walked past their food truck serving falafel, lamb, and other Middle Eastern goodies, I heard the local country music station blasting. Nothing wrong with it, of course – it’s just nice to know that in this world there are some things like Miranda Lambert’s awesomeness that we can all agree on.

Loaded Potato

Go ahead and ‘click’ to enlarge me…you know you want to…

A loaded baked potato always tastes just like the first time.  Each year, I make sure I get one, and it’s never a disappointment. When you sit down and get comfortable with a massive, fluffy baked potato topped with chili, bacon, cheese, broccoli, sour cream, chives, salsa, and jalapenos…it’s a beautiful thing.

It’s almost like that “other” first time, but without the awkwardness and rug burns.

You’re never too old to learn new tricks – or technology. I was chatting with an old, grizzled Yankee farmer about the famous Concord Coach, and he was telling me about a coach that had been lost in storage at Dartmouth College for decades. He said he heard from a friend that the college wanted to get rid of it, and his friend suggested that he get in touch with them. When the farmer then told me he immediately sent off an email to the college, I nearly fell over.

The other lesson, of course, is to never judge books by– well, you know.

Watching a giant, fire-breathing robot dinosaur eat a car never gets old.

MegaSaurus 1

MegaSaurus 2

MegaSaurus 3

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At least if you’re a guy.  Hey, we’re simple creatures.

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it!  To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “…Although, maybe I should go back for some pizza”

It’s hard for me to believe, but it has been 13 months since I began this blog! Where does the time go?? I’m currently busy working at the 98th annual Hopkinton (NH) State Fair, where I have been the announcer for about 5 years; I remind people what events are taking place, inform them as to where facilities are, and also announce the demolition derbies Sat. and Sun nights. It’s a long, 60-65 hour weekend of talking, walking, and smiling…but I love it. So, since I don’t have the time to post something new today, I’m reposting this fair-themed poem from last year; this was originally published Sept. 7, 2012.

For all the Poetry Friday links, be sure to head on over to A Teaching Life with Tara!

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poetryfridaybutton-fulllYes, that’s the title of the poem.  I know, it’s a bit odd, but so is the person who wrote it.  Actually, there’s a reason why I titled it this way…you’ll understand once you read the poem.

This was written last summer, as I was preparing for my duties as the official live announcer for the annual Hopkinton State Fair here in New Hampshire.  It’s one of the largest fairs in the state and takes place during Labor Day Weekend.

I was the announcer for this year’s fair as well, and I’m still recuperating.  It’s not the nearly 65-hours-on-my-feet-for-5-days schedule that gets me; it’s the food!  Between deep-fried pickles, Pop-Tarts and Oreos, barbecued bison burgers, and roast turkey legs that would give Fred Flintstone a hernia, it’s a fair-foodie’s dream-come-true.  My annual favourite?  A loaded baked potato with chili, bacon, cheese, broccoli, sour cream, chives, salsa, and jalapenos.

I tell them to hold the butter because I really don’t need the fat.

“…Although, maybe I should go back for some pizza”

I love the fair, but most of all, the food is hard to beat –
It’s barely 2pm, and yet I’ve had so much to eat!
I started with a burger, had a corn dog and some fries,
And then hot buttered popcorn in a box of massive size.

I feasted on the fried dough, ate a funnel cake or three,
And downed as many deep-fried foods as there could ever be.
Of course I needed ice cream, so I stopped to have a scoop;
I even scarfed a giant, cheesy bread bowl full of soup!

Had cotton candy, caramel apples, schnitzel on a stick,
And polished off a pulled pork sub entirely too quick.
I’ve eaten all the sausage my poor stomach will allow;
So really…all I want…
is just a garden salad now.

- © 2011, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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PoetsGarage-badgeDid you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it!  To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week - on Tues. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)  Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter , Facebook, Pinterest, and SoundCloud!

Slowing down and catching up

This past weekend, my wife, my son, and I attended my wife’s family’s annual 4th of July cookout.  It’s amazing the things you learn and discover when you’re not constantly up each other’s arses on Facebook and Twitter.

ID-10016558 (BBQ)Before I go any further, I should explain something. This is a BIG shindig. Family, extended family, and friends all get together to hang out, have fun, and eat tons of food. I’ve been to more than a few family functions in the past, but this has got to be the biggest one each year.

How big?

There aren’t just hot dogs and hamburgers. There’s also barbecued chicken, pulled pork, hot & sweet sausages, steak tips, chicken wings, and smoked ribs. And those are just the meats.  There’s a pool, a horseshoe pit, a bounce house for the kids, and requisite beer-pong tournament.

This year, they even rented a Porta-potty!

Like I said…it’s a big party. Which is why I found it so surprising – and refreshing, really – to be able to learn so much from my own family members.

Social media ≠ real socializing

While many of the folks in attendance keep up with each other via social media, several don’t. And the ones who do – Yours Truly, included – are not living every moment of our lives to find out what everyone else is doing everyday.

Now and then I’ll see a Facebook post from someone, and perhaps I’ll comment, perhaps not. Often I miss a good deal of what’s going on because, to be honest, I’ve got a lot going on in my own life.

facebookNot to sound selfish or anything, but I’m so preoccupied with my voiceover business, my writing, taking care of my 3-year-old son, taking care of the house/gardening/firewood/landscaping/etc., and trying to be a good husband to my pregnant, ready-to-pop-any-day-now wife…I honestly twitterdon’t have the time to notice that my step-cousin Susie has posted another duck-lip selfpic or that Uncle Fred finally had his bunions removed.

So being able to enjoy true socializing was like a gift. I was able to relax Pinterestand chat with one or two people, snack on some food, and have a drink, then start another conversation with someone else and have some more food.  (Food figures prominently at this soirée – and in my life, for that matter)

soundcloudAnd by engaging in real, old-fashioned human interaction, without the distractions that come with socializing online, I was not only more focused on what people were talking about, I was also able to enjoy it much more. I wasn’t being interrupted by pop-up ads, I wasn’t checking emails and bank accounts while trying to skim through my Facebook news feed, and I wasn’t finding intriguing news stories that pulled my attention away from my work.

I discovered quite a bit, too.

“You did what?  When?  Where?  Wow!”

I learned that my uncle-in-law (not sure if that’s a real designation, but we’ll go with it) purchased and rebuilt a classic motorcycle which he turned into a trike. However, he left the rear wheel of the motorcycle on – meaning the trike actually has three wheels in the back. Which, I suppose, makes it a quad. Kinda, sort of.

I had a chance to catch up with a second cousin who recently graduated college, who told me a 7-year-old boy she was babysitting tried to hit on her. Not hit her…hit on her.  At 7 years old, all I wanted was a new Tonka truck. Apparently they start young, these days.

I also learned that another relative has started a new job that has tremendous perks; that the rules of horseshoes need to be altered slightly if you want the game to end before sunrise; and that Jello shots pack significantly more punch when they’re made entirely with vodka and no water whatsoever.

Oh, and all that cutting, splitting, and stacking cordwood I’ve been doing is paying off, it seems. While standing in my swimming trunks chatting with my wife and her sisters, one of them asked if I had lost weight. I said I didn’t know; it was possible, with all the outdoor work I’ve been doing.

I thanked her, of course – then immediately began to wonder what type of home improvement project is best for one’s abs.

ID-100177455 (floating ring)

Somewhere…an inner tube is calling you.

Relax, recharge, refocus

Could I have learned these things via Facebook or Twitter? Sure - at least some of them. Although my uncle isn’t online, Jello shots are hard to do on Google+, and since I don’t post shirtless photos of myself on Facebook, I doubt anyone would have ever noticed my muscular, chiseled, near-godlike physique.

But having the opportunity to slow down and leave the electronic distractions behind was not only enjoyable, it was necessary. Hopefully you can find the time to slow down and catch up with the people close to you this summer.

Just like the batteries in our devices need to get turned off and recharged now and then, we need that, as well. That’s why, although I’ll be working through this week doing my voiceover work and writing my children’s poetry, I’ll be on a semi-hiatus, so to speak.

I’ll be spending more time readying the nursery for baby #2′s arrival in August and spending more time with my wife over the weekend – just the two of us, with no distractions. I also will not be posting a new blog entry next Monday.

I do have the urge to go out and cut down more trees, though.

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Did you like this post? Find anything interesting somewhere in this blog? Want to keep abreast of my posts?  Then please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right! (I usually only post twice a week - on Tue. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day!)  Feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter or Facebook.

Maturity: It’s like barbecue, but without the smoke rings

I have my wife to thank for this blog post.

For my birthday yesterday, she took me out to a southern barbecue joint – where slow-smoked ribs, chicken, and pulled pork fall from the bones and the aroma of a spicy, smoky dry rub lingers on your fingers all the way home. Where brisket isn’t done until it’s been in the smoker for at least 14 hours, and the anticipation of seeing it browned and sliced is almost too much to bear.

This is where slow, southern-style smoked barbecue is almost a religion. No, come to think of it, it is a religion.

And this is where my wife, the vegetarian, brought me for dinner.

She’s a keeper, that one.

ID-100155010 (B-day candle)45 was a problem; 46 is a bigger one

We were back in the car, driving home, when I told her I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for today’s post. I had some ideas – about commercials or poetry or whatnot – but the fact that I’m now 46 kept weighing on my mind. I had just posted my thoughts on life and graduation here last week, as well, so ‘maturity’ has been a recurring theme for me lately.

Let’s face it – 45 is smack-dab in the middle 40′s, so even though you’re only 5 years away from the half-century mark, you can say you’re in your “40′s” and still pretend you’re only 41. But 46 is on the other side of 45, which means when you turn 46 you are officially in your upper 40′s. I wasn’t sure I liked that.

I wasn’t in my free-wheeling 20′s anymore, when I was first learning about the world and my career and life. I wasn’t in my 30′s either, when I could put some of the experience and wisdom I had gleaned in my 20′s to use – but still feel young enough to hang around 20-year-olds.

Then, 40 rolled around. I couldn’t even say I was in my 30′s at that point…and working in radio with an entire on-air staff that was younger than me was a bit of a shock.

But 46?  When did this happen??

The vegetarian waxes philosophic

So having explained all this to my wife, I breathed a sigh and continued driving. Ever the positive-minded gal she is, my wife smiled and began comparing my life to barbecue.

She said that, just like brisket and ribs need to spend a long time in the smoker, my past 46 years have been my personal time in the ‘smoker.’ I wasn’t ready for life in my 20′s, and I still wasn’t ready in my 30′s. It was only when I met her – in my early 40′s – that my current life situation began to take form.

I had my two daughters when I was younger - but like most parents, it was trial by fire.  I had no idea what I was doing, so I just winged it and hoped for the best. I worked in radio, in a restaurant, as a wedding DJ,as a dance instructor, and as an advertising sales rep…but all these were learning experiences, too. My wife told me these were the ‘dry rubs,’ preparing me for what was to come.

2979557490_969898059c_b (smoke ring)Last year, I left steady, full-time employment to work on building my own voiceover business (it’s a slow build, but growing). I have more time to audition for gigs. I’m writing more children’s poetry – and better children’s poetry – as well as other manuscripts. I even have the time to write this blog, fercryinoutloud.

I also now have a 3-year-old son and another baby on the way…and I feel like I almost know what I’m doing, having gone through it before. I’m able to experience child development in a whole new light, my wife reminded me, because I’m a stay-at-home dad. I’m not sure how I would have done as a stay-at-home dad 20 years ago, but I’m doing ok so far.

Life is good.

Everything I’ve experienced, everything I’ve done or seen, everything that came before – has been part of the smoking process, my wife explained.  I’ve been slow-cooking this whole time…and now, I was ready to be taken out of the smoker and plated.

Life was ahead of me, and I was now ‘prepared.’

You know, for a health care professional, she’s pretty good at metaphors. I love that woman.

Although the idea of ‘being plated’ unnerves me just a bit.

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Did you like this post? Find anything interesting somewhere in this blog? Want to keep abreast of my posts?  Then please consider subscribing via the links over here on the right! (I usually only post twice a week - on Tue. and Fri. - so you won’t be inundated with emails every day!)  You can also follow me via Twitter or on Facebook.

Poetry Friday: “Monster Supper”

Yes, I realize Halloween is both months away and months behind…but I had to post this now.

poetryfridaybutton-fulllYou see, back in early January, the creative yet enigmatic M.M. Socks posted a poem titled, “Eyeball Dinner” on his blog.  It got me thinking about what else might be served at a dinner that included eyeballs on the menu. But then, of course, I had to carry the concept further in my mind…and wondered what the whole dinner experience might be like.

Hence, the inspiration for “Monster Supper.” Hope you like it!  Or are at least able to get all the way through it. Today Sheri Doyle is hosting Poetry Friday, so be sure to visit her blog for links to all of the day’s offerings!

“Monster Supper”

Come, little monsters,
Sit down, take a seat!
Are your hands filthy?
Good!
We can finally eat!
Your mummy has made you
A terrible feast –
So you can grow up
As a strong, healthy beast.

Remember your manners
And don’t sit up straight;
Burp when you want to
But don’t clean your plate.
Put down those forks!
Play with your food!
Talk while you’re chewing
And always be rude.

Have some weed salad
With fried crispy lips!
I cooked up a rump roast
And saved you the hips.
You’ll love these fresh toenails –
The crunch is superb!
Or try some steamed muscles
With butter and Herb.

The sweet pickled pelvis
Is slimy and cold,
The grilled duodenum
Is starting to mold;
There’s liver lasagna,
Hot skeleton stew,
Gall bladder casserole,
Finger rolls, too!

So eat up, my darlings,
And make sure you drool –
But always remember
My dinnertime rule:
If you don’t eat your eyeballs
And finish your dirt,
You can’t have warm chocolate
Spleens for dessert.

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

Poetry Friday: “Mud Pies for Sale!”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllPerhaps I’ve been too serious lately.

I was just looking back over some of my recent Poetry Friday posts and noticed a plethora of deep, sensual, or poignant poems. (Well, except for last week’s homage to the next Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens)

I’ve offered a tanka dedicated to my wife, a tribute to her grandfather, and even poems about poetry itself.  I’ve probed life, death, consciousness, and inspiration.

Time for some silly.

We had insanely strong winds here yesterday – over 50 mph gusts – and even now, they’ve only died down to about 30 mph.  These were accompanied by heavy rainfall in the early morning hours and far-above-seasonal temperatures resulting in a giant, mushy mishmash of messy mud.

But I do have to admit, the dirt-speckled, half-molten snow definitely set off the more earthy, monochromatic tones of the rest of the scenery.

You’ll understand, then, why I thought this would be an appropriate poem to share.  It’s something I wrote two years ago, but for which I have yet to find a home.  I’m thinking of including it in my ‘food’ poetry collection (oh, yes , there’s a manuscript for that, already), just to be cheeky.  Hope you like it!  And for all of today’s Poetry Friday shenanigans, visit the Gang o’ Six at Teaching Authors!

Facial, anyone?

“Mud Pies for Sale!”

Mud pies for sale, mud pies for sale!
All made from scratch, fresh from the pail!
We use the finest mud and weeds
To satisfy your mud pie needs.
The dirt is dug right from the ground;
It’s mixed with water, stirred around,
Then baked beneath the sun above
And set before you here, with love.
You’ll find no other pies in town
This muddy or this shade of brown;
Disgusting?  Gritty?  Do not frown –
Here, have a drink to wash it down!

Although…

If you don’t want what we’ve displayed,
You may not like the lemonade.

- © 2012 Matt Forrest Esenwine

Poetry Friday: “The Ravens”

Here it is, Robbie Burns Day – the birthday of The Bard, Scottish poet Robert Burns – and what do I have? A parody of an Edgar Allan Poe classic.

I’m not being a very good Scot.

However, in keeping with tradition, I do offer a link to an appropriate Burns piece, “Address to a Haggis.”  If you’re holding a Burns Supper today, in addition to the pipes, toasts, and requisite singing of Burns’ “Auld Lang Syne,” you’d better plan on having a dramatic reading of the culinary classic that is “Address to a Haggis.”

And of course, the haggis, neeps, and tatties.

Photo courtesy Ian Britton

And if you don’t know what haggis is, well – let me say, it’s not for everyone.  Neeps are turnips and tatties are potatoes; simple enough. Haggis, though, is a type of forcemeat consisting of most of the parts of a sheep non-Scots wouldn’t consider eating – along with oatmeal, onions, pepper, and other spices – stuffed inside the sheep’s stomach. And just because haggis is synonymous with Scotland, don’t assume everyone there loves it. There are a handful of Americans who don’t appreciate hot dogs, and there are plenty more Scots who won’t go near haggis with a 19-foot caber.

It should be noted that the flavour of haggis improves with time; specifically, time spent drinking Scotch.

Which explains a lot, actually.

But I digress…

I don’t know if it’s because I grew up listening to Stan Freberg and watching Carol Burnett on TV, if it’s due to my overdosing on Monty Python and The Goodies episodes as a kid, or because my family was just plain happy while I was growing up…but I am grateful to whoever or whatever gave me my sense of humour.

I’m not saying I’m the world’s quickest wit or funniest fellow, but I do tend to see the humour in many situations.   Just as I find poetry in everyday life, I also see the funny.

Case in point: this past Sunday night, when my poor New England Patriots fell in defeat to the powerful Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game. (For the uninitiated, the Ravens will now meet the San Francisco 49′ers in the Super Bowl. It’s kind of a big deal here.) If you saw the game, you saw the Patriots do pretty much nothing except all the things a team should not do, if it wants to advance to the Super Bowl. Interception, fumble, offsides, you name it…they did it.

But, having been born in the city of Poe, I was not entirely disappointed. I was glad to see the Ravens move on - which is probably why I was able to see humour in the Patriots’ defeat. While most Pats fans went straight to bed after screaming at their TVs for at least 20 minutes - only to continue grousing about it at work the following day - I, on the other hand, took to my computer to re-write Poe’s classic, “The Raven.”

No, not the entire poem – I’m not that ambitious, even when it’s not 11pm on a Sunday night. I wrote one stanza, incorporating the rhyme scheme and meter of the original, as a reflection of my experience of the game as a Pats fan.

(Also, again for the uninitiated:  Flacco is Joe Flacco, Baltimore’s quarterback, and Beantown is a nickname for Boston…)

The Ravens

Once upon a Sunday dreary, as the Pats played, weak and weary,
Watching all of Flacco’s passes they seemed eager to ignore –
Wide receivers, nearly napping, with their flailing arms a-flapping,
They’re the ones I felt like slapping as they worn down time and score –
“Will victory be Beantown’s??”  I asked, closely watching time and score –
Quoth the Ravens, “Nevermore!”

- 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

For all of today’s Poetry Friday offerings, be sure to visit Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference!

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