Poetry Friday: The Found Object Poem Project, Day 5!

Poetry_Friday logoPoet 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.

Heirloom Moon

On sun-toughened vines
they hang, young
and glowing beneath
dark August sky;
midnight shines
against dewy skin, smooth
and glossy as Brandywines
while flesh swells
with thirst
and yearning.

– © 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:

(click to enlarge)

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

Black pepper
Tangy vinaigrette
Drizzling oil
Beefsteak tomatoes
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
Tomato sandwiches
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!

Grandmother’s Quilt

quilted for hours
taking tiny stitches in and out
while gossiping
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.

Margaret Simon

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
of summer

– 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

Laura Shovan herself stopped by to share her contribution – a fun little ode to my tasty monstrosity:
Big Boy
Hello, tomato!
You’re the Wonder Twins
of the vegetable garden,
Miracle-Gro… activate!
Hello, tomato!
The slugs came out
last night and slathered you
in lip plumper.
Hello, tomato!
I love you best
cut into chunks
and served with salt.
Goodbye, tomato!
– © 2016, Laura Shovan

Carol Varsalona jumped into the fray with the following poem that she titled after my picture!

Tomato Moon

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-
peacefully co-joined,
artfully sculptured,
waiting for a receiver.

– ©CVarsalona, 2016

Next, Mary Lee Hahn brings us a short but sweet love poem!

Double Tomato

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
and bursting
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


Wondering what’s in store for tomorrow? Here’s the found object poem prompt for Sat., Feb. 6, courtesy of Laura, herself!

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!


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37 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Found Object Poem Project, Day 5!

  1. Pingback: 2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 4 | Laura Shovan

  2. dmayr

    So glad to have a day of ripe tomato poems to see me through today’s snow! Thanks for crowning me Queen of Haiku, but I like to think of myself as the Haiku Spokesmodel–either way, I get to wear a tiara! I’m illustrating my tomato poem and will post it next Friday at Random Noodling, I just didn’t have enough time this week.


  3. Matt, thank you for posting my quick little poem that changed the whole meaning of a ripe, juicy tomato into a Valentine wish for all. Your post is filled with amazing thoughts on one single phenomenon that you captured.

    I am glad that I never saw your first thoughts about being mooned by a tomato-LOL. There was sheer joy in thinking about your image and what it brought to mind. My guess is that when I digitalized it as seen on my site, the Valentine image popped out. Again, thanks for your creativity and that of all the other writers.


  4. Jessica Bigi

    Matt thanks for hosting today such wonderful poems today so interesting to see the different poems from the same pic todays pic is a good on for this weekend could make a lot of salsa from that tomato would go good with chips for that big game


  5. I didn’t see the title of your picture until I took it off the site to put on my post, Matt. It might have triggered another memory, as you wrote so beautifully of that ‘Heirloom”. I love “midnight shines”. Everyone obviously loves tomatoes from the poems written. Thanks for hosting the “found objects” today.


  6. Matt, thanks for hosting–loved your poem. What a great title and those first few lines paint a beautiful image. Laura–your poem is just such fun from beginning to end. Again, it’s such fun to see how people interpret the same photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah! These are fabulous! How I wish the tomatoes in the supermarket weren’t so super-pathetic this time of year. I agree with the choice of presenting your glorious poem before the picture… I’m still not sure how you were able to get it out of your mind! Kudos to Diane for her explosive delivery, to Jessica for her mouthwatering effects, to Margaret for her unique take (“feathered with fingers of love”… sigh), for Molly’s song of summer, Linda’s pursed tomato kiss, Laura’s big a** brilliance, and Carol’s warm tomatoey heart. Well done, all!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well, I certainly have some catching up to do! Look at all these awesome tomato poems. I appreciate all the different takes on this doublewonderfruit, but being in a valentine moon I mean mood, I think Carol’s and Linda’s reach my heart most closely. The summerness of a tomato feel very far off to me today!

    I didn’t know about Laura’s found objects project, somehow, but my own blog features a found poem written by my daughter–not as a poem but as friendly reminder to help her print something. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  9. margaretsmn

    Thanks for hosting the tomato party today. Yeah, I totally went off topic. That’s what found object poems are all about, right? I am drawn to Diane’s silent description of the growth process. I am not a huge fan of eating tomatoes, except those big ripe red ones from a real garden.


  10. maryleehahn

    I’m feeling rather dense…I didn’t see the “moon” in the picture and was puzzled by the title. When I read your poem before looking at the picture again, I saw boobs, not a moon!

    Love all the DELICIOUS poems about eating tomatoes. Makes me readier than ever for summer produce!!

    Here’s one more to add to your post. (I couldn’t make it happen yesterday!)

    Double Tomato

    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

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: 2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 6 | Laura Shovan

  12. Pingback: 2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 7 and Week 2 Prompts | Laura Shovan

  13. How awesome to find so many poems done by friends here. What an awesome treat!

    Here are the lines that I loved your poem, Matt:
    midnight shines
    against dewy skin, smooth
    and glossy as Brandywines

    beautiful imagery right there.


  14. Pingback: 2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 5 | Laura Shovan

  15. This is late, late – but couldn’t resist this tomato! Please add it to your stew!

    One Slice of Rainbow

    I’ll take a slice of rainbow, please
    The red part
    tender, curved, ripe –
    So warm, sweet
    and bursting
    Rain down to my elbows.

    ©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bringing my market basket along, & am I greedy if I pick every poem to taste?
    The creativity & imagination of the poem makers is remarkable.
    Clearly, this is a prizewinner fruit & not a specimen for the ketchup bottle.


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