Thursday, August 27, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Spice Pots” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Spice Pots” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month.  Ms. Hamilton will also be serving as the guest judge for the Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest, which will run from September 1 to October 15, 2015.  A detailed biography of Ms. Hamilton may be found here:  The contest guidelines may be previewed here:

Spice Pots
Carol Hamilton
The pots line my patio,
and every plant has a bushy
head of seed or has withered to stalk
while I was gone. When cooking,
I’m not choosy, simply pinch
a leaf of each. But now
I wonder what has left me,
what needs replacing. I rub leaves
between thumb and finger,
inhale a familiar redolence.
No names come to mind. One
smells of pines in mountain
sun. Each is like Italy
or bay or basil. Leaves will all
be gone if I keep testing. I think
now I’ve lost a lemon oregano,
but then I wonder if such a plant
exists. Never mind. Life is
now more joyous since the day
I learned that recipes were
not handed down in stone,
and cloud patterns are
forever lost, forever new.
Chives and mint are in the garden,
and the shop will have labels.
I will breathe in and say,
“Oh, of course.
Sage is sage is sage.”

Poet’s Notes:  This is an old poem, and returning to it I find I like the sound the title makes, the sibilance, and that withered to stalk has a sound to it that I enjoy as well. For me, this piece is evocative to my senses. My imagination smells, hears, tastes, and touches. I hope this works for you, too. I love growing herbs in pots.

Editor’s Note:  I keep a pathetic little herb garden in my backyard behind the garage.  Just some lavender that my daughter likes (but my wife does not), a patch of strawberries that produces one semi-edible berry per annum, some shriveled thyme, an oregano monstrosity gone to seed and almost never harvested, and surprisingly healthy, useful, and abundant rosemary, basil, and chives.  This poem has inspired me to go outside and weed and perhaps later to make some basil pesto or add some fresh chives to my morning omelet.  “Spice Pots” was originally published in Open Bone.

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