I wrote this poem after a summer of gardening. I had grown peppermint and other cooking herbs. I used the peppermint as a cooking herb.
Cover pork with fresh mint leaves and see how good it is. I also used it for tea. In the end I used it for this poem. Click on the photographs to enlarge for greater detail.
of a potato
God is love.
salt or pepper;
only white steaming flesh
in a tough brown skin.
I imagine an ancient man
digging roots and wrapping them in leaves
to roast under the moonlight
while he looks up and wonders.
Peppermint grows luxuriantly in impoverished soil. Its roots multiply into a mounded mass which rise up from below the surface of the earth. If you are a typical American it is a wild unmanageable mass of weeds needing to be poisoned. If not, you bow your head and say 'grace'.
As I was digging up the root mass to prepare for another garden the fragrance of mint from the apparently dead mass of plants rose from the ground. It hit my nose and made me feel good. I began to think of ancient man digging in the earth and finding a sensory delight like peppermint or a potato. How good he must have felt! I bet he remembered what to look for after that.
It was the scent of the somnambulant herb rising from the sleeping earth which was the incipient inspiration for the poem.
But later I found myself with a bowl of lentils, oregano from the garden and the taste of thin broth that brought the poem to its place in time. This meal was the immediate precursor of the poem.
I love this song by the Moody Blues and it seems to fit.
Text photograph and art (C) 2012 David H. Roche
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