Everyone turns up for Sunday lunch
even Pythagoras makes an appearance.
I want to discuss the great novels
but conversation favours the harmony of the spheres.
If our ears are deaf to the music
of objects in motion, I hear that
we are immune to the ever-present world.
Simone de Beauvoir passes the kofta.
Everyone agrees the taste of eggplant
and mashed potato is in perfect harmony.
Plato is cutting the bread and
admiring the baker’s thumbprint.
Copernicus dresses the salad
oil lemon mustard honey
on runner beans and radishes.
Simone has laid pomegranate seeds
the length of the table
to track the faultline of human existence.
‘It all comes back to story,’
she says, admiring her handiwork.
- Paula Green
used by permission
I have been reading and enjoying Paula Green's collection The Baker's Thumbprint published in 2013 by Seraph Press. I felt the poem above, Sunday Lunch, best gave the flavour of the first part of the collection, which reminded me of that question beloved of certain interviewers: if you could ask anyone to a dinner party, living or dead, who would you invite? Besides the characters above, Einstein, Florence Nightingale, Jane Austen, Janet Frame and others wander in and out of these playful and yet somehow serious poems. And then, of course, there are the descriptions of food, which make me feel rather hungry!
Paula Green has published seven previous collections of poetry, including two for children, and has written several children's books. With Harry Ricketts, she co-authored 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry
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