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Category Archives: Objects

Mustard

We had a snow day on Sunday. No church. No walk. (Superbowl for hubby, though – the TV wasn’t snowed in.)

I used the gift of those extra hours to tidy up my gmail and in the process came across a poetry prompt that I couldn’t resist. So I also wrote a poem.

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Mustard

Seeds the size of faith
ground and added to young wine
became the fiery condiment
must-ardens*

Sauce as ancient as Indus and Rome,
modern French’s, dyed paprika and turmeric,
drips from every summer hotdog
stains every childhood shirt.

Hulled or whole-grained, sophisticated mustard
mixes congenially with vinegar, wine, water
lemon juice, whiskey, beer; remains
a wholesome but tart foil to ham, chicken, cheese.

Bavarian or Dijon, sweet or hot
honeyed, spiced, fruited, or Poupon
yellow to brown this world citizen
is welcome at tables on every continent.

A jar of French’s still lives in my Canadian fridge—
faithful standby for sausages, wieners, mayonnaise
parson at the emulsification nuptials of oil and vinegar
and a spread for a 5-year-old’s favorite sandwich.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

* How it came to be called “mustard”:

The first element is ultimately from Latin mustum, (“must,” young wine) – the condiment was originally prepared by making the ground seeds into a paste with must. The second element comes also from Latin ardens (hot, flaming).

Source: Wikipedia.

The post that contains the prompt: “Eating and Drinking Poems: Barbara Crooker’s ‘Ode to Olive Oil’“ quotes Barbara Crooker’s wonderful poem in full.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Katy at her blog The Logonauts.

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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Objects, Poetry Friday

 

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7

Happy eve of New Year’s Eve!

Everywhere I tune in these days I hear people talking about what a terrible year 2016 has been and good riddance to it.

I don’t feel that way at all. For me 2016 has been a wonderful year. Hubby and I are still living together in peace, we visited our distant kids three times, had a fabulous summer holiday, welcomed another beautiful granddaughter, and were spared major illnesses, accidents, falls, fires, earthquakes, storms, and floods.

Poetry-wise it hasn’t been bad either. The number of poems I wrote this year is 97 and the number of times I participated in Poetry Friday is 37.

What’s with all the 7s?

I know! Seven seems to be my little buddy (in addition to those two, there are a total of eight 7s in our address and two phone numbers). Thus when I read the prompt “Write a number poem” in Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet II (a wonderful book for poetry craft and prompts, by the way) I had to choose seven. The threshold of 2017 seems the right time to share it.

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Image: Pixabay

7

It’s not that it is a prime
number of perfection
the completion of an entire week
or that it’s the address of heavenly bliss.

And though its association
with itch and deadly sins fascinate
the reason I fall for 7
is how often it has fallen for me…

so often in address and phone number
I fear one day to find myself
at 6s and 7s to remember
where all those 7s belong.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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What number would you choose for a number poem?

And now I’d like to wish all my Poetry Friday Friends a 2017 so 7-perfect it deserves a 10!
PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Donna (the BOLD) at Mainely Write.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2016 in Objects, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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To Skin

Happy Thanksgiving to our American neighbors!

In my search for a poem of gratitude today, I came across “To Skin” (which I wrote some years ago but don’t believe I ever made public—at least not here). It reminds us of one thing we have to be grateful for which, though all around us, is easy to take for granted.

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Graphic from Pixabay.com

To Skin

Here’s to you
millimeter-thin layer cake
dermis, epidermis, hypodermis
dyed in the color of my race.

So tidily you enfold
crimson river of blood
yellow fat, pink muscle
grey bone, palette of reds—
burgundy liver to scarlet lung.

Body-sized organ of translucent turf
you possess an intelligence
that knows the difference
between lips and soles
lids and ears,
multi-tasks the switchboard
of smooth and rough, blazing and frigid
thrill and ouch, burn and itch.

Impervious to water
soft armor against malevolent
microbe and virus
yet vulnerable,
you blush
under sun and wind
bleed when cut
shrivel and distort when burned
swell, sweat, weep, toughen
discolor and scar.
Plump and smooth when new
you age into crepe, wrinkles, folds
jowls, doubles, triples and aprons
but still you blanket and protect.

So here’s to you
my lifetime-guaranteed
layer of cling-wrap,
boundary
and, till I reach eternity,
outline of my dust-to-dust
identity.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol at Carols Corner.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2016 in Nature, Objects, People, Poetry Friday

 

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Just an ordinary walk


In the last few weeks my walking partner, dear hubby, has been finding it more and more painful to walk. Then the doctor told him, no more long walks until you’re better. So for now I am walking on my own.

When I took solitary walks in the past I experienced a wonderful loosening of words and ideas. And it’s happening again, if I’m alert to it.

To help with that, I carry a little notebook and pen to write down words, turns of phrase, and images that I don’t want to forget. Or I hold them in my head. That’s what I did for the poem below. When I got home I free-wrote like crazy to capture everything in prose. Later I worked some of my ideas into …

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“I am a long skinny shadow now, walking down a golden street” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Just an ordinary walk

On this cold morning I am soft wax
feeling intimidated by impatient cars
swishing, swooshing
swirling beside me.

One turns right in front
of my WALK light, almost clips my toes.
Even in moments of still, distant traffic hums
a far off siren screams.

City birds above me chirp, warble
sing their own bustle, swoop down (peck, peck),
flutter away. They are nonchalant, daring,
savvy to the rhythm of feet and tires (hop, hop).

My nose tests wind gusts, smells
gasoline, diesel, vanilla, a passerby’s peppery
perfume,  chocolate, cinnamon
(something good is baking at Safeway).

I am a long  skinny shadow now walking down a golden street
past a lady in a taupe coat with her silky dog in red
and a grey couple smoking on a bench.
They pull their Lhasa Apso close so I can pass.

I can’t find the book drop at the library.
The security guard points me to it’s green-light lips
“You scan it.” He shows me which bar-code
and the slot sucks the book from my hand.

As I turn toward home, the sun stares
into my eyes, brash. I shade them
with hands balled into gloves, fingers
squeezing warmth from palms.

A kid with a black-and-white backpack strides by
black arms bare under short black sleeves
black jeans, white shoes—so cool
but how can he not feel so cold?

I climb stairs, twist key in the lock—
happy to be home.
It was just an ordinary walk
but forever engraved in this poem.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the queen of poetic forms, Tricia at her blog Miss Rumphius Effect.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Objects, People, Personal, Poetry Friday, Writing

 

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Wild Rose Roundabout (NPM ’16-Day 29)

Wild Rose Roundabout

I unfurl my face to you—
now that it’s almost May.
It was a juicy April
with lots of wet-root days.
To January and February’s sparrows and chickadees
my shriveled red ancestors were food.
Leaves paled and lost their grip
driven crazy by November’s gales.
Ripening in August heat,
hard green hips blushed.
It was a May ago
my forbears smiled their last on you.

My forbears smiled their last on you—
it was a May ago.
Hard green hips blushed,
ripening in August heat.
Driven crazy by November’s gales
leaves paled and lost their grip.
My shriveled red ancestors were food
to January and February’s sparrows and chickadees.
With lots of wet-root days
it was a juicy April.
Now that it’s almost May
I unfurl my face to you.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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The April 28th prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a story poem—backwards. We saw the first wild rose blossoms on our walk yesterday morning, roses were on my mind, so I decided to write a wild rose story.

The challenge to write a Reverso poem (a poem in which the lines are reversed bottom to top, making a second stanza or an entirely new poem) has also been circulating around the Poetry Friday network. So I tinkered with my story until it worked as a Reverso poem of sorts.

However, there is at least one aspect of a Reverso that my poem doesn’t satisfy. In a genuine Reverso, the meaning changes when you change directions. I know I have not achieved that.

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Form poems, Nature, Objects

 

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Solomon’s Seal (NPM ’16-Day 24)

Solomon’s Seal

lacy petticoat
green leaves bower leggy height
cure for many ills

texture complements
pieris, hostas, roses
salve for green-starved eyes

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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My sister gave me a Solomon’s Seal plant about a year ago. It did well. But when it came up this spring,  I had forgotten all about it and it took me a while to figure out what it was. Then I saw the telltale row of flowers under the leaves—so different from any other plant I’ve ever seen—and I remembered.

Solomon’s Seal has a reputation for being quite a healer. Ancients ground its roots to powder to made it into tea for stomach ailments, combined it with lard to smooth over bruised and freckled skin, expected it to aid in the healing of broken bones, hemorrhoids, and tumors. Despite its poisonous leaves and berries, it was credited with being a virtual medicine cabinet in one plant! Read more about it HERE.

I’m quite content to let it do its healing from a distance, with its beauty.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Haiku, Nature, Objects, Personal

 

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Ink Jet Printer (NPM ’16-Day 17)

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Photo – pixabay.com

Ink Jet Printer

Printer fires up, then silence
thinks awhile, then putters…
pushes out the paper
in chugs and grunts and sputters.

We would mutter too
if we had his hard assignment:
Make the picture colorful
while staying in alignment.

As he complains and stutters
charges in his nozzle heads
are giving chip instructions
to make purples, greens and reds,

figuring out precisely
magenta, cyan, black
adding drops of yellow.
Get it right—can’t take it back!

I’m glad he knows just where to put
each microscopic bubble.
Dear Ink Jet, grumble all you like
we love you for your trouble!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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This children’s poem was inspired by the topic of ink jet printers at Wonderopolis. I learned a lot about printers through the Wonderopolis informational article—including why mine may sometimes need a little sympathy and patience.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2016 in Kids, Objects

 

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