Food For Thought

'A poem was never worth as much as a dinner'

                      Joseph Berchoux, poet, his works include 'La Gastronomie'

as a poet
prudently healthy
in rickety, food bank Britain

(and is the rest of the 
well stocked world
any different?)

I don't have a guilty conscience
but I feel conscientiously guilty

if my words could really be eaten

I would write 
if every verbal flourish
could nourish

those who are rumbling
for a bellyful more than culture
those picked clean
by vultures

and there's the rub
the salt in the wound
grind it in deeply
(we absorb it all so deeply)
my fine company 
of budget line raconteurs
breadline activists

(I'm not trying to cod you
my situation
is anywhere near the worst)

of solid Irish staples
potatoes and milk
not the faintest scrape of famine
in his wholesome words

cruelly organic
the leanest meat
no time for pretty packaging

                                   spaghetti lines
                                                                    to the very end of the horizon
                                                  easily digestible
                                                                                                       accessible to all

(and at his side
plentiful enough
to keep the little ones from howling)

Caribbean Nichols
a feast of natural sugars

an extra serving of laureates
carefully measured rations
home delivered with a joke
with compassion
citric Duffy
acid tongued fount of vitamin c

(for vit d
how about The Bard himself
a delightful punnet of summer
if ever there was one)

this menu isn't only set in the west
compact yet perfectly balanced
all you need
in a single mouthful
served with rice paper

am I being too serious
too po-faced
dip into Ayres
scoffed at as candyfloss
who doesn't need 
an occasional sweet treat
just remember to brush your teeth

a bit too much to swallow
a dry throat croak
swig Dharker's blessing 
of H2O
certified safe 
for all to consume
or if so disposed
imbibe the spirits 
of Thomas and Behan
two true drops of the hard stuff

if words could really be eaten
maybe it would be different

in France
where Michelin starred poets traipse away
to prosaic jobs
tales between their legs
mutts without bones

and will it leave a bad taste 
if I fish for a miracle
if Plath might have
changed her mind

the unleavened verse
she was preparing

set it aside to rest
saved the oven
for baking


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