Monday, August 01, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Sonnet


for Deborah

These grey days, I hunger for colour. I scavenge
in produce aisles, take home bags overflowing
with orange-skinned mandarins, broccoli, dark
as pines, purple grapes, tri-coloured capsicums.

I sip herbal tea and read your messages.
Mongolia’s as hot as Korea, you say, but drier,
Everywhere is dusty. The vegetable soup is greasy
with mutton fat, and not much fibre in it.

You will pass through Osaka on your way home,
visit temples with gardens of pebbles
and carefully-raked sand. By the time you return
the maples in our garden will be swelling with new buds.

The Japanese have a special name for it.
Shinryoku – the tender new green of spring.

© Catherine Fitchett


At the time I wrote this poem my daughter had been teaching English in Korea, and was travelling through Mongolia, Thailand and Japan before returning home. It must have been about the same time of year as it is now. I was reminded of the poem when I was in the greengrocer's at the weekend, and decided to post it for my Tuesday Poem this week.

In a sort of double-dipping, the photo is included as today's image for my month of photos.

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.


Piokiwi said...

I love the simplicity of it, and the pairing of poem to photo. I've been carless in Chch and too scared to walk in the dark to the supermarket after work - thus when I finally get into one, it's like Eden. I become like Eve - greedy and curious.

Mary McCallum said...

Piokiwi (Renee )- you could catch up with the Tuesday Poets down there one evening rather than seek out a supermarket. That's Catherine and Helen and Andrew (and Joanna Preston and Jeffrey Paparoa Holman who are waiting to return.) We really enjoyed the Wellington drinks when Helen L came visiting!

I like the poem Catherine... the last line with the lovely word is especially delicious. We need a word like that in English. In my children's novel I had to write around just exactly that word three times...

Claire Beynon said...

This poem stirs me up, Catherine, esp. the opening lines 'These grey days, I hunger for colour. . .' May you find much of it - and may it find you.