Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Cake with Flute - Therese Clear


Clang of  pan
against lilt of Mozart.
Flour, scoop, and measure, measure.

Buttercream vibrato, vanilla harmony.
Egg whip. Trill.
Three, four.

Three fourths cup of milk
to whisk. And soda,
powder. Rising,

rising, up the scale. Note
the heat now. Allegro,
hotter. One quick breath

and mix with grace
notes. Honey that milk
for all it's worth.

Therese Clear
   for my son Nelson, at ten

The American poet T. Clear has been writing and publishing for more than thirty years, and is a founder of Floating Bridge Press (http://www.scn.org/floatingbridge/main.html). She began baking at an early age, and believes the baking process to be as close to religion as she'll ever get (in spite of many years steeped in Catholicism). A former owner of Two Tartes Bakery in Seattle, she now manages production and shipping for an international glass artist.


This week, the Tuesday Poets are swapping poems in a festive pairing - or "Secret Santa". I'm delighted to have been linked up with Therese, whose lively blog I first encountered a year or so ago. I don't think I've missed a post there since. Thanks for sending Cake with Flute, T. There is nothing mundane about this (or, as far as I can tell - any) of your baking adventures. My experience of this poem is (amongst other things) as a dance in which flour and grace notes are happy partners. 

Happy Christmas to you all from the Tuesday Poets - and three cheers for Mary McCallum who has so wonderfully and wholeheartedly coordinated this weekly poetry initiative. Thank you, Mary. 


  1. I can almost hear the music and taste the cake!

  2. nice one, T.
    i love the use of "honey" as a verb...
    i can smell it as you take it out of the oven...mmmmmmmm
    so many of us writers/visual artists are such passionate cooks...

  3. Claire, what a wonderful poem you have posted by Therese. The staccato images together with the 'recipe' flow so well in all senses.

  4. Ah, I enjoyed this, both the baking and the music ...

  5. I love the food connection you and Therese have going, Claire. Baking in the sweltering heat feels very festive to me. Very evocative. Thanks so much for posting!

  6. Thanks, Claire! This has all been such a delight. xoT.

  7. Janis, I loved meeting Alice on Vesper Sparrow's blog this morning! T's poem makes my feet frisky and conjures up the taste of cake, too. Thanks for coming by.

    Susan - I love T's use of 'honey' as a verb, too. What you say about us writers/visual artists being zealots in the kitchen seems bang-on true. What fun we'd all have if we could meet up in a communal kitchen somewhere for a couple of days?

    Hi Gordon - I agree, this is a wonderful poem. The form of it so perfectly echoes the structure of music and process of baking. . . a new creative genre, perhaps, that we could call Methodical Musicality - or Musical Methodology?

  8. Hi Helen - me too, me too!

    Elizabeth, hi - Therese and I do seem to have a fair few things in common (besides food!), amongst these, same-age sons. Her Nelson (to whom she dedicated this poem) is the same age - give or take a few months - as my son, Daniel. It was a treat to find poems for today that celebrated them both. ; )

  9. T - thank YOU! It has been a delight - and, well, I'm so pleased to have met you.
    L, C x

  10. Delicious--the rhythm too.



  11. Hello, dear Mim.

    Yes, Joy - in T's poem and at finding you here.

    Wishing you and J many blessings this Christmas.