Thursday, March 24, 2016

Two Bread Poems

Hot fresh bread…

Hot fresh bread, breakfast time:
Fragrant, not a flower,
Warming, not a fire,
Lively, not a flame,
Soothing, not a salve,
Kindly, not a caress;
Dark honey wheat,
Black oat barley,
Sweet cinnamon raisin,
Savory apple walnut,
Ciabatta, Foccacia, Pita,
Bublik, Chapati, Pandesal—
Parmesan, Romano—two-cheese,
Sunflower, sesame, fennel—three-seed,
Every type of loaf
Bundled in brown wrapper,
Crackling in your embrace,
Steaming scented clouds,
Breathe deeply
Atop a mountain;
Billowing, fluffy blanket,
Pull it up,
Tuck it snug
Beneath your chin;
Bracing, poppy fireside,
Cross your arms,
Hold it to your heart.
Fed in deepest winter,
Bathed at height of summer,
Refreshed when day is dry,
Sheltered when life is wet,
Healed when you are pierced,
Becalmed…even after you are violently shaken,
Remade in hope,
Transformed in joy,
Nourished, uplifted…blessed:
Every good thing comes to you
As a loaf of bread.

Let us bake bread…

Let us bake bread today.
Let us labor, let us stir
Wheat flour, honey, butter,
Add salt and warm water,
Leaven—waken yeast,
Breathing now,
Mold it all in one elastic ball,
Polish it with olive oil,
Wrap it,
And wait.
Wait for what?
Don’t ask questions.
Just wait.
It rises:
Promise of surety,
Plume of hope.
Knead the dough, roll it flat,
Fold it thick and thicker,
Push it down using
Heels of your palms.
The best part is
Dough smiles
At becoming
A new creation.
Pressing together,
You, the dough, are one.
More olive oil, wrap again,
Wait again.
It rises.
Stoke the oven, shove it in.
Rising some more,
Freshly scented, golden brown,
Dawn has come to the door.
Day raps on the plate.
Napkins fold greetings.
Break off a piece,

Golden wheat stalks


  1. Credits - original publications:

    “Hot fresh bread...,” originally titled “Bread,” IthacaLit (September 27, 2014)

    “Let us bake bread...,” originally titled “Bread,” aaduna, Volume V, Issue 1 (Spring 2015)


  2. Public domain photo

    Photo link: