Thou mak’st me hot, O swain of mine, afire with passion, sure,
and art my furnace, blazing beau, so flaming your allure;
What is it getteth in my groove that thou hast, O my heart?
How heat I up, so quickly broiled, as roasting from the start?
Mayhap, thou sneaky Devil, thou hast dropped affection’s bomb
When I misjudged it literal and went to Match.com!
The Cuddlesome Kraken
You think that I’m all hands, my love,
Controlling, holding tightly so?
Don’t wriggle, struggle, push and shove;
I love you, darling, s’truth I do,
So let’s just cut right to the chase—
Let me wrap all my arms ’round you—
The sweetest sound the human ear has heard
Was not a waterfall or splashing brook
To thirsty thoughts; nor thirsty mind, a book
Read out; nor singer’s voice, nor whistling bird
In spring’s cool song; it wasn’t kittens’ purr
Or baby’s comfortably cooing charms
When resting safely in his mother’s arms
—Though it might then seem wildly sweet to her—
It wasn’t the “I love you” of romance,
Nor was the sweetest sound of clinking gold,
—Though to its owner, that cannot grow old—
But rather, barring mystic happenstance,
The miracle of sound most truly sweet
Was Mama’s voice announcing, “Come and eat!”
You know that I love the Fall season, even though it’s very late and short here in Texas. Perhaps it benefits from my love of seasonal change in general, but I think the romantic leanings that come in autumn, that sense of impending death softened by the comforts with which we pad ourselves and by the death-defying renewal of the beginning of school and art seasons, have their own peculiar attractions. And of course, there is the bounty of foods that are best appreciated as we slide from the fall equinox to the winter.The World in Autumn
Thin branches caging up the sun
In willow-wavy lacelike hands,
All skeletons and ampersands,
Hold clouds together in the one
Unreadable yet literate
Equation of the interstices
Whose elated season this is,
Crisp and quite deliberate
In tracing every moment in it,
Hour, year, and state of mind
Among the bones of humankind,
As though these things were infinite.
One of the delights I most admire in this season is earthy flavors. An abundance of root vegetables and mushrooms signals time for soups, stews and sauces whose savory riches warm body and soul and recall me to the embrace of home and childhood in many ways. A simple creamy soup loaded with mushrooms is hard to beat for succor on a grey and blustery day. A bouquet of cauliflower roasted with nothing more than a quantity of butter and salt and pepper until just-right is heavenly; adding sage leaves to the butter and a handful of shredded Reggiano to the top of the cauliflower just when they’ll have time to crisp and brown lightly moves the easy dish to a higher floor in the heavenly skyscraper.Roasted vegetables of any kind are especially welcome in the cooler seasons, and so easy to toss together with a little olive oil or butter in the oven while everything else is being prepared for the table that it’s almost a crime not to put them in the oven. Throw a chopped lemon in to roast with them and they are sauced in their own juices. Put the remains (if any) the next day into a bowl with a cup of hot homemade broth and a poached or soft-cooked egg or two, add cooked rice or noodles if you like, and, bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, (or bi-bim-bap!), you have a bowl full of nutritious, delicious, and not at all ambitious goodness right in your own little corner of this magical autumn season.