Food Poem – Easy by Roland Flint

While she starts the water and measures the pasta,
he sets the table and peels the garlic.
She cuts up broccoli, strips snow peas, readies fish—
he presses the garlic, fixes her a kir, and him a gin.
She sautés the vegetables while he grates cheese,
readies the candles, and puts flowers on the table.
She puts pasta in the boiling water, and fixes salad,
which he takes to the table with the cheese.
She mixes a salad dressing, he opens the wine
and takes it to the table, where everything is ready,
except for the pasta, so he lights the candles
and puts salad from a big walnut bowl into small ones.
 Now she or he brings the pasta, greens and fish
mixed in, and they sit to talk, drink wine and eat.
Though October, they sit on a small screen porch
in the back of the house where they have lived
for twelve years of their twenty together,
the last six, the children gone, alone.
Once, during dinner, if they stop talking
and listen to the music, they may, without drama,
hold hands a moment, almost like a handshake
by now, most friendly, confirming the contract,
and more. She is a pretty woman of 51, who has
kept herself trim and fit. He is 56 and hasn’t.
 Later, they will clear the dishes and clean up,
and she will bring tea and fresh fruit to bed,
where they will watch a little television or not,
with herbal tea and the fruit. After that, if
they make love or not, they will talk a long time,
her work or his, the budget, the Middle East,
this child or that, how good dinner was, how
easy it is, the times like this, when it’s simple.

 “Easy” by Roland Flint from The Yellow Shoe Poets: Selected Poems 1964-1999. © Louisiana State University Press, 1999.
From Writer’s Almanac Podcast

Wishing you all loving simplicity this weekend,


Things That Cannot Die by Paige Riehl

A spoon in a cup of tea.
Letters in yellow envelopes,
the way a hand pushed lines
into the soft paper.
Morning laughter.
A white shirt draped
over her chair.
An open window. The air.
Call of one blackbird.
Silence of another.
November. Summer.
My love for you, I say.
My love for you infinity
times a million, my son says.
Sounds of piano notes
as they rest in treetops.
The road from here to there.
Grief, that floating, lost swan.

“Things That Cannot Die” by Paige Riehl from Suspension. © Terrapin Books, 2018. From Writer’s Almanac Podcast, August 13, 2019

This is not exactly a food poem although “a spoon in a cup of tea” is referenced. It does speak to the immortal intimacy of love and loss. Small things and endless things.

May you be surrounded by things that cannot die like laughter and love,


Food Poem – Death Again by Jim Harrison

Let’s not get romantic or dismal about death.
Indeed it’s our most unique act along with birth.
We must think of it as cooking breakfast,
it’s that ordinary. Break two eggs into a bowl
or break a bowl into two eggs. Slip into a coffin
after the fluids have been drained, or better yet,
slide into the fire. Of course it’s a little hard
to accept your last kiss, your last drink,
your last meal about which the condemned
can be quite particular as if there could be
a cheeseburger sent by God. A few lovers
sweep by the inner eye, but it’s mostly a placid
lake at dawn, mist rising, a solitary loon
call, and staring into the still, opaque water.
We’ll know as children again all that we are
destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far.

Jim Harrison, “Death Again” from Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems. from the Writer’s Almanac Podcast, August 14th, 2019

Food Poem- Eggplant by Richard Jones


by Richard Jones

I’ve never liked the taste,

which, I think,

is a shame,

because some days

when my wife goes to work

and I walk to the grocery store,

I stand in the produce aisle,

admiring those gorgeous

purple fruits––

wine colored,

sensuously curved––

and can’t help but reach out

and pick one up, just to hold it,

so silky smooth, so luscious looking

I almost fall in love,

but then remember

who I am:

a man not fond of eggplant.


I linger and look

and there in the bin

under the misters and lights,

I find it––

the perfect eggplant,

the glossy flesh unblemished,

meat firm under the fingers,

the stem and cap

bright green.

The fruit heavy in the hand,

I place the eggplant

in my cart,

taking special care,

knowing an eggplant is delicate

and wounds easily.

I carry the grocery bag home

through a light rain

and arrange the eggplant

on a white tablecloth,

the opulent purple orb

lustrous in the window light

and quietly beautiful

as if lying on satin sheets.

Then I sit in the wing chair.

The house grows dark

as the rain falls harder

and I wait for my wife

to come home from work,

shake off her raincoat,

turn on the lamp,

and behold the eggplant.

“Eggplant” by Richard Jones from Stranger on Earth. © Copper Canyon Press, 2018. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Writers Almanac, July 5th, 2019

Here’s what I’d do with a beautiful purple eggplant:

If a rainy summer day, fry sliced rounds smeared with salt, ground turmeric, and chilli pepper. Eat with flaky paratha/ flat bread.


If hot and sunny summer day, grill it until soft. Smash and mix it with salt, lemon juice, sliced onions, chopped cilantro, chopped thai chili pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil or mustard oil. Serve with bread or rice and light daal.


Food Poem by Jim Daniels

This poem is not directly about food. The imagery of two siblings over a kitchen sink surrounded by leftovers makes me smile. Maybe you will too.

Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake

at my kitchen sink, the bathroom upstairs
clogged with family from out of town

spending the night after the wake
and the after-wake—cold beverages

have been consumed and comfort food,
leftovers bulging both the fridge

and the minifridge. In our fifties, both
half-asleep half-awake, we face each

other. My sister’s smile foams white
down her chin at the end of a day

on which no one has smiled. We laugh.
We may never brush our teeth together again.

No mirror down here to see our haggard faces.
We rinse, we spit. As we were taught.

“Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake” by Jim Daniels from The Middle Ages. © Red Mountain Press, 2018.

From the Writer’s Almanac