To wake when all is possible
before the agitations of the day
have gripped you
To come to the kitchen
and peel a little basketball
To tear the husk
like cotton padding a cloud of oil
misting out of its pinprick pores
clean and sharp as pepper
each pale pink section out of its case
so carefully without breaking
a single pearly cell
To slide each piece
into a cold blue china bowl
the juice pooling until the whole
fruit is divided from its skin
and only then to eat
precisely pointless a devout
involvement of the hands and senses
a pause a little emptinesseach year harder to live within
each year harder to live without.
Craig Arnold, 1967–2009
Photograph: Kerstin Rodgers aka MsMarmitelover
As an echo to Craig Arnold's Meditation on a Grapefruit, with its invitation - as I read it - to consider the sacred in the mundane details of our daily lives, I'm posting a poem I wrote for my son, Daniel, when he was a wee lad. . . During my pregnancy with Daniel, I had a craving for any and all things citrus. He was born, it seemed, with a beyond-his-tender-years predisposition for ruby grapefruit. (I'd devoured them by the bushel when he was in utero. Bless him. Daniel is now 26, living and working in Wellington; all three of my children are living in the same city at the moment, which is wonderful. I'm immersed in the studio these days, preparing - amongst other things - for two (imminent) group shows. Just as soon as work for these is complete, I'll be flying up to the N. Island to share the Wellington spring and enjoy an unhurried, uncluttered week with them. . . Can you believe we're already on the edge of November?)
He has two wishes for his sixth
birthday; a pocket of ruby grapefruit
and a citrus knife with a bend in it.
It is the Fast of Ramadan - the twenty-eight day
in - and the weather shows no consideration.
Flies and an irreverent heat
nudge Mr. Salie the fruit seller
and his carthorse up the street.
The children are waiting. They know
he will come. He will spoil them
with a fistful of pomegranate, a slice of ice
green melon. Upside down they wait
dangling limbs and rinds of chatter
from the purple crown of a jacaranda
tree. They swing from a sandpit sky
scuffed toes bare, swishing through
a thick mirage of air.
Up at the gate, in the postbox shade
beach buckets brim with the horse's drink.
Ramadan. And today is my boy's
sixth birthday. He drops to the ground
with a ripe fruit sound, runs
pelter, pelter down the street.
There's a horse, a cart and an old man
Of course he's remembered. He whistles
and grins, heaves the grapefruit down.
Next week - they agree - when the Fast
is complete, they will sit on the pavement
enjoy a pink feast.
"Why, Mr Salie?" I hear my son speak.
"Why do they smell so wet
and so deep?"
This week's editor on the Tuesday Poem hub is Seattle-based poet and artist, T. Clear
with Hey Columbus!
by Thomas Hubbard.
T. writes,"A mixed-blood, of (probably) Cherokee, Miami, Irish and English ancestry, the American poet Thomas Hubbard grew up among factory workers in the 1950's. A teacher of writing and other subjects, he has worked also as a carpenter, blues musician and freelance writer. He won the Seattle's Grand Slam in 1995, and since has written three chapbooks, Nail and Other Hardworking Poems, Junkyard Dogz, and Injunz." Great stuff.
Please click on the quill.
*All this talk about grapefruit makes me want to bake these --- http://www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com/2012/02/ruby-red-grapefruit-bars.html