Poet and blogger Laura Shovan is once again inspiring writers with her annual February poetry prompt, and this year she’s using “found objects” – random, unusual, or even everyday items that various friends and fellow bloggers have come across and shared.
You can see all of this week’s objects (and the poems written so far) HERE at her blog, and today, I’m pleased to host Day 5 of the series!
Now, normally I’d share the photo of the object with my poem, along with all the poems that readers have contributed – and please DO contribute, in the comments section! – but I feel a need to do things just slightly differently, for good reason.
This time around, I need to share the poem first…and I’ll explain why after you read it.
On sun-toughened vines
they hang, young
and glowing beneath
dark August sky;
against dewy skin, smooth
and glossy as Brandywines
while flesh swells
– © 2016, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved
The reason I wanted to share the poem first is because of the ridiculous nature of the photo. Once you see it, you’ll sense a huge disconnect between the object and the poem. Ready?
Here it is:
When I first shared this online, I stated that I’d never been mooned by a vegetable before!
I’m not sure if this tomato was one big one that split into two, or started off as two little baby tomatoes that fused into one – but at a good pound or so in weight, it was one of the strangest-looking tomatoes I’d ever seen.
Two days ago when I started thinking about a poem to write, my mind kept wandering back to a tomato ‘mooning’ me – but I wanted something more serious. Once the title of the poem, “Heirloom Moon,” hit me, the poem wrote itself.
I was concerned that by seeing the photo, then reading the poem, there might be a bit of a disconnect. Switching from a goofy picture to mature free verse – and switching from very different definitions of ‘moon’ – was a challenge!
Now then, without any further ado, allow me to present YOUR poems…all the responses to this photo that are being sent in. And please, if you’d like to contribute, just post your poem in the comments below and I’ll add it here as soon as I can!
We’ll begin with something from the Haiku Queen, Diane Mayr, who said, “When I gave up the idea of writing a tomato haiku, this one appeared!” Some great imagery here, too – skin stretching, mouths waiting – so enjoy:
Listen to a Tomato
Not even a whisper
accompanies the splitting
of its seed coat when
touched by the warmth
of a sunny April day.
Nor is there a sound
when a seedling snakes
upward shaking off
humus and loam as
its true leaves unfurl.
You won’t hear skin
stretching to its limits
as the fruit imbibes
summer rains, growing
round and pendant.
The only sound you can
hear, is the POP of a ripe
tomato and the EXPLOSION
of juice as it’s delivered
to your waiting mouth.
– © 2016, Diane Mayr
Next up is a delicious poem from Jessica Bigi…you’ll be ready for dinner with these warm, homey images:
Garden Tomatoes Memories
Our garden’s prize
Halves in a bowl
They’re best as
Dad told his story
Tomato juice smile
Italian bread baking
In grandmother’s oven
Slices of garden tomatoes
Thick slices of onions
Water my eyes
How the hobos left the Trains
knocking on her door
For homemade bread and
Dad’s mouth watered he
Loved his with onions
How I long to hear his voice
Whistle his story to me
How I love my dad and a bowl
Of garden tomatoes
– Jessica Bigi
Margaret Simon says she was attracted not to the tomato but to the quilted cloth beneath, which was reminiscent of her grandmother’s quilts. This touching poem is proof that inspiration can come from anywhere!
quilted for hours
taking tiny stitches in and out
with the girls.
“Jesse harvested tomatoes today.
The largest we’ve had in years.”
“Whatcha’gonna make, Mary Glo?
Tomato soup or corn maque choux?”
Around that circle of friends,
patches from Granddad’s ties,
a piece of Margaret’s Sunday dress,
stories were told
and sewn into time,
feathered with fingers of love.
Although summer won’t be here for another 5 months, Molly Hogan brightens up our winter with thoughts of sunshine and dirt and summertime smells:
One Plump Tomato
In the midst of winter
one plump tomato
stirs memories of
the sun’s caressing warmth
on berry-brown bare arms
and flush freckle-dusted cheeks
of toes dipping into rich earth
and of the enticing tangled scent
of robust green vines
and sweet spicy basil
In the midst of winter
one plump tomato
sings a silent song
– Molly Hogan
Linda Baie is feeling the love – with an early-morning rendezvous:
Early Valentine’s Day
I rose early to go to the garden
for a breakfast harvest,
without the distraction of the kids.
Pants quickly wet from the dew,
I leaned into ripening tomatoes,
inhaling that tangy, piney scent,
the only one they know. Perhaps
it protects their sweeter taste?
They were falling over,
heavy red-ripened jewels.
There, among that rich roundness, this love apple.
The mist had blown off with the sun,
and I returned to the house,
lay my heart upon the bed,
pursed my lips for a kiss.
– Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved
Carol Varsalona jumped into the fray with the following poem that she titled after my picture!
Not two peas in a pod.
Not two beans on a pad
two simple valentines
one tomato moon,
filling the spaces of
my February heart-
waiting for a receiver.
– ©CVarsalona, 2016
Next, Mary Lee Hahn brings us a short but sweet love poem!
We budded together and together we bloomed;
it just seemed natural that together we grew.
Together we look…unusual,
but together we’re unified — one outranks two!
– © Mary Lee Hahn, 2016
Donna Smith is “tasting the rainbow” – and a very delicious-sounding one it is!
One Slice of Rainbow
I’ll take a slice of rainbow, please
The red part
tender, curved, ripe –
So warm, sweet
Rain down to my elbows.
– © 2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved
And finally, Charles Waters brings us back to my initial impression of the “moon” as the subject, as opposed to a tomato. The personification in this is intriguing!
What’s in a Blood Moon?
When sun and earth are spiritually aligned enough
to get together for a natter, then include the moon
on this get together by complimenting him on his
evening wear, he starts blushing with pride.
– © Charles Waters, 2016
NEXT UP, DAY 6!
Many thanks again to Laura Shovan for the series of prompts this month, and for all of today’s poetry fun and links, please visit Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Poetry Friday roundup!