At Tuesday’s Twitter Poetry Party, we were presented with a series of informational statements from two books on herbs and spices. Okay, we were game to make poems. And the result is below. TSPoetry provided each of the prompts, and you’ll see occasional side comments and interjections.
tspoetry: Fruits, Herbs & Spices (and the occasional snap pea & golden beet). Info from Rodale’s Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs and Renee Loux’s Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods. Cloves were named from the Latin ‘clovus’ meaning nail. Dried unopened bud of tropical evergreen, myrtle. Sharp, hot, bittersweet.
poemsandprayers: I love golden beets.
The Walled Garden of Spices and Herbs
By @llbarkat, @poemsandprayers, @doallas, @monicasharman and @gyoung9751
tspoetry: Bay leaves were fashioned into laurel crowns for emperors and heroes in Rome.
My Heart Pours Bittersweet
Stake me with a clove, through the flesh of my golden heart.
My heart pours bittersweet, hot
Hot and bittersweet be the blood you spill,
Each clove piercing deeper;
Piercing, shredding golden chambers, golden ventricles.
What once was unopened now beats with sharpest pain,
Leaving behind nothing more than traces of love
Evergreen no more.
tspoetry: There are more than 150 varieties of chili peppers. Chilis are a nightshade plant like tomatoes and eggplants
Golden heart once crowned with bay, now tattered;
Chilis whose colors betray not the peppery tang
In all its wondrous varieties.
My heart did long
For the laurel,
Spurned the threat of
Their taste hangs on my tongue
As do the seeds of your crime.
Crush the chilis;
The crime will
Surge from tongue
A taste of cloves,
A taste of laurel,
A taste of death,
Yet your heart did gather unto itself
The leavings of laurel fallen along the pathway,
Where you led astray.
tspoetry: Allspice was used by Mayan Indians for embalming. Aroma and taste is like and ambrosia of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper.
Death Never Tasted
Crowned with bay,
Nay, a crown of chilis, fiery, red, unforgiving;
Upon the path, a trampled leafy crown.
Death never tasted
Sweeter than this,
Allspice like pepper
Shaken beyond time.
We have no taste for embalming,
Not like the Egyptians,
Who mastered the art of using cinnamon
In preservation of kings and queens.
Its scent rises to fill my lungs.
Ambrosia of love,
A pinch of nutmeg, touch of black pepper,
Cloves to cut the too-sweet taste.
The scent of chilis, red hot, assaulting the smell sense.
tspoetry: Using a coffee grinder is a quick and very effective method to pummel spices.
tspoetry: Feverfew-stands to reason that a plant that can grow from a chink in the wall will require only the most casual methods of cultivation.
The Scent of Heat
The scent of heat, the scent of sweet, the heart of gold,
So might we use a mortar and pestle
To make it hands-on,
To feel the crushing, the pressure
Of grinding down to just-right measure.
I feel heavy with reason.
Is a chink to slight,
To house the ambrosia
Of my love for you.
Give it over, then,
A mortar, crushing smell, crushing heat, crushing life,
Grinding fever, grinding cloves, grinding hearts and crowns.
It is scent rising,
Filling the room with nature’s odes
To what’s most natural,
Golden pillow of shame and regret,
Cultivating nothing but my love for you.
Methinks the grinding must needs stop a while
Lest we have nothing left
About which to sing.
The grinding turns all to powder,
To shift with the wind,
To move to the skies of cloves, of walls, of laurels.
Pummel me with bay,
No one will discern
The aroma of my
Did you think
You could tend my heart
With only the most
Casual methods of cultivation?
No, I think that not.
Your heart requires such tender
Care as leaves me
Unable to tend the garden of my love.
I found such chink
In that wall
You climbed last night,
The wall you did break down,
The wall of broken dreams.
Shame and regret
Set out on golden pillow
Sparkling with abandoned crowns
You break down the wall with thyme.
(@llbarkat: @poemsandprayers Ha! :))
tspoetry: Cinnamon is a familiar, warm spice. The aroma of its essential oils is intoxicating.
Spice and Cinnamon
The warm aroma of spice and cinnamon
Blends with laurel and cloves.
You taste of cinnamon,
Said she. And you,
Said he, of almonds.
tspoetry: Soaked almonds and long-grain wild rice are two things I always have on hand.
Tongue’s Bitter Root
Till life be spent?
I taste your tongue’s bitter root
Click to get FREE 5-Prompt Mini-Series
publiceyestl: Cinnamon RT @angelabingaman: paprika is the best spice.
Like the shape of your eyes
Equally as well as cinnamon, the color of your eyes
And our fragrance
Is made known.
I have heard
They harvest wild rice
By hand, skimming,
Riffling the waters
For chocolate colored seed.
Thyme goes slowly now,
Long-grain rice takes time
To soak and cook.
And the grains,
Do they fall between fingers
Or come and settle,
By the wall, set in thyme, I sat,
Tired from tending
My garden of the golden heart,
On the other side of the wall
What say you?
Does your tending leave you
Too little thyme /to court?
Tear it down,
Tear it down,
Tear down the wall
For I shall not wait.
I cannot wait;
My heart awaits,
My heart awakes
From a cloven slumber.
tspoetry: Hibiscus has a single layer of delicate, broad, red petals with a sweet flavor.
Too Little Time
Too little time to court,
To breathe the cloves,
To wear the laurel.
Come to me,
See if my lap
Is not delicate red,
Broad and sweet
But too much
Elixir of cinnamon and almonds
To make the heart
Yet my untended heart of gold waits by the wall.
I offer you a cup of Hibiscus tea,
To which you shrug,
Knowing not the labor.
I take to pick its delicate leaves for you.
He shall not wait
For Hibiscus tea,
Perchance that lap
That bids him near,
Holds greater flavor.
(llbarkat: @Doallas oh, Maureen, sweet, sweet one)
tspoetry: Chives: a member of the amaryllis family, this hardy perennial prefers partial shade to full sun. They are hollow, grass-like stalks.
Give Me Shade
I cannot live uncovered,
Too much to hide;
Give me shade.
A single layer
Of tea leaves
Spread out upon my table,
Where I read your signs.
Too many left,
Having sniffed cloves too long.
He touches a cinnamon cheek.
You speak a tongue red with lies,
A tongue of chili-red lies,
Of bitteroot taste;
Color of nasturtium,
Color of sin,
Color of love.
Salmon shade is
Yours my love,
If you but hold me as
A dove to your heart,
tspoetry: Nasturtiums grow in 6 colors: cream, tangerine, deep mahogany, bright scarlet, cherry rose, soft salmon. Taste like pepper.
The dove she flies,
The dove wings on,
With a glance backward
For a brief moment of thyme.
(gyoung9751: OK, so I’ve been waiting to make a pun. Sorry.)
(llbarkat: @gyoung9751 Forgiven this thyme; don’t dove it again 😉 )
(Doallas: @gyoung9751 we’re each allowed one)
tspoetry: Snow peas are eaten whole, peas and pod together. They are sweet with a quintessential pea flavor.
In Sun Too Long
Love leaves him ever
As one in sun too long,
When shade might,
Like a gentle canopy,
Restore his soft salmon cheeks,
The cherry rose
Of his lips,
The deep mahogany
Of his hair.
His tongue tasting of nasturtium’s pepper.
tspoetry: Sugar snap peas are bright green and perky. They “snap” when broken in half.
Brushing the Laurel
The dove soars above the field of spice,
Brushing the laurel,
Aiming for the sun;
There is freedom in the flight.
Thyme hath no pride
When used to mimic time’s passage.
Left by the dove,
The field of spice,
The golden heart,
Pulsing though shredded by the clove;
Left by the wall of thyme,
It lies with the crown laurel crown.
Their gentle pod
A cradle for love
Each one a sweet reminder of love’s flavored by spice.
Do not think I am
Pliant as the water
‘Neath days’ descending
too far my sweet,
I snap, bright with sorrow.
It makes no sense,
So try again
To say thus:
Each one a sweet reminder of love,
Whose favor was ever quintessential,
A love as hollow
As a blade of chive, a love snapped by the cherry sun.
Two peas in a sweet
tspoetry: Chanterelles: a frilly, trumpet-shaped, delicate variety of mushroom, cream to vivid yellow in color, slightly fruity.
A sweet curved pod
That needs not
That piercing clove
To wreck what we tend
Do you still tend, my love,
My golden heart,
My heart in the walled garden?
How does one tell the differences,
One herb from another?
Tis not like love
Run hot or cold,
Cross the fields of thyme,
Hunting the floor of the wood
Do you still tend, my love,
My golden heart,
My heart in the walled garden?
Chanterelle, how you
Chanterelle, the very name
A song on lips,
Delicate as air
Giving lift to love.
She calls for,
Be the prize,
A hidden prize, buried in leaves
And bare woods.
tspoetry: In ancient Greece parsley was used in funeral ceremonies, and was also associated with oblivion.
Then when love be done,
Sprinkle parsley heavily
To oblivion. Send those
Who make of love a funeral.
The smile of the dove,
Casts a faint shadow,
Upon the field of spice
And the garden of golden hearts.
Heart in walled garden,
Be Poe near?
Who tends those hearts,
Be rushed ?
Must needs be left
To bring an end to it.
A fleeting glance left for the field,
The dove glides away to heaven.
tspoetry: Sassafrass. Smells of rootbeer.
Dreaming of Root Beer Floats
Goodnight sweet friends,
Sassafras dreams to thee.
I will dream of root beer
Floats, of the wild rice harvest
And of thee.
Prize of herbs,
Sight and smell and taste
Night falls fast;
Gather up what’s left
To make a meal
Of prize won
gyoung9751: I think we had several poems going on simultaneously. I’ve captured all the posts in Word, including a few without the hashtag.
llbarkat: Ha! HerbalCommunity is now following Tspoetry. Any guesses…
gyoung9751: Plan is to post edited poem at TweetSpeak Poetry on Thursday. Tomorrow, we have one by Marcus.
Doallas: Should make for a most delicious poem.
Doallas: Good night all.
llbarkat: Goodnight all. You cook up love and verse equally well.
poemsandprayers: Capture the posts but let the dove fly.Good night and sweet spicy dreams.
gyoung9751: Goodnight @doallas, @llbarkat, @monicasharman, @poemsandprayers and one rogue post that made its way in (you have to wait and see.)
llbarkat: Ack, my eyes are tearing up and I’m sneezy. Must be the pepper. Or maybe the cinnamon. 🙂
llbarkat: @gyoung9751 Ah, you make us wait? Mahogany tease!
gyoung9751: @llbarkat The tweeter used the word cinnamon right at the exact moment it was in the Tweet Party.
llbarkat: @gyoung9751 Maybe it was a secret bid to join the tasting.
- Poets and Poems: Bruce Beasley and “Prayershreds” - May 30, 2023
- Poets and Poems: James Sale and “StairWell” - May 23, 2023
- Poets and Poems: Catherine Esposito Prescott and “Accidental Garden” - May 16, 2023
Maureen Doallas says
Heroic effort, Glynn. You deserve your very own crown of laurels accented with sweet red peppers and delicate hibiscus flowers.
As for the sniffing of cloves before, during, or after Tweet parties: what say you?
By the time I reached the end, what came to mind was Jung’s Red Book. Imagine what Jung might have made of our TweetSpeak!
L.L. Barkat says
Round and round, like a villanelle again. That’s how these seem to go. And as I read, the intensity grows… the weight of the words turning and returning. The way you gather and pour out our words leaves me breathless.