I am a transplant from Philadelphia, PA and retired college educator who has become part of the thriving poetry community of Southern California, which includes some of our fellow VVers. I keep myself busy writing, doing open mics and other readings as often as possible, practicing yoga, and enjoying the gorgeous climate in this area.
I have the knife skills of a ninja,
carving radishes into netsuke.
Beneath my fingers they emerge
as men, cranes, crouching beasts,
in every attitude of life.
In my kitchen, gleaming copper saucepans wink,
my mise-en-place a thing of wonder,
the cupboards perfectly arranged.
I taste the world, scenting ripeness,
feeling it in the give of skin under my nail.
Striding through fields of lavender,
or teasing out saffron with the tips of my fingers
from the throats of reluctant poppies,
I am master of every ingredient.
The earth’s simplest offerings,
onions, potatoes, garlic,
sweetened for weeks beneath the earth,
yield up their savor to my sauce,
its splash of cream spreading
like a cloud on a blue ceramic sky.
The world is my palette,
colors and shades of taste
capable of endless combination,
the simple act of nourishment my gift.
previously published in Silver Birch Press
I have heard that we are all
just extravagant instruments
of the gustatory urge, made
to transport it to the nearest
source of nourishment—
an orchard of peaches
perhaps, still rock hard nubbins
at the base of embryonic blooms,
or an aquarium stocked with a school
of silver-sided tuna behind bright glass.
I awake in my round bed in the center
of everything that is, the room a yellow
wedge fragrant as summer and as bright.
How, in fact, have I managed to sleep
in all this brightness? On these soft
yellow feathers full of liquid
like a canary without any song?
previously published in Poemeleon Poetry Journal
©2016 Robbi Nester
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