This week’s Poetry Jam prompt has to do with spices and cooking, but it was presented in a broad manner and open to many interpretations; I really liked this flexibility. So far, from the submissions and poems I’ve read in response to the prompt, it seems many of us love writing about exotic spices, cooking, our senses of smell, and the concomitant associations of all of those with sex.
Not sure if this is finished, but I really wanted to link to it before too long. In any case, on with the show.
Apres Le Diner
Fingerbowls of powdered red dust
black sesame seeds
Oil sizzles in a cast iron pan
I smell like curry,
in the late heat of the day,
I taste sharp garlic and hot ginger
on our mingled fingertips
Your puzzle of spices and fruit pods
There is a mushroom
that mimics the smell of decay
to attract flies to spread its spores
Using scent to get what we need
This week’s Poetry Jam got me thinking about a few other things, not directly as a response to the prompt, but I’ve decided to include them here as a sort of Part Two of this post. Incomplete, perhaps, like my little poem; read on if you like.
Last year, I visited Salem, Massachusetts for the first time. So many little port towns in New England in the 1600s and beyond were made wealthy by the shipping industry. The Triangle Trade was the trade and transport of rum, sugar cane or molasses, and Africans who had been sold into slavery across the Atlantic Ocean and between the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and New England. Much wealth also rested on the spice trade. Pepper, cinnamon, chilis, nutmeg, (Connecticut was known as The Nutmeg State), The Spice Islands. It’s a fascinating and complex history which I’ve given short shrift along with ill-supported flicks of information.
It is Black History Month and it behooves us to keep learning more, to dredge up information, to keep asking questions, and to keep seeking the bones that sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in the Middle Passage. At least that’s what I think, but maybe that doesn’t jive with the current [Facebook] trend of trying to focus only on the positive. Hmm. I’m torn between seeking a state of peace and higher consciousness and admitting to the consistent, historical truth of being human in other circumstances; but not really. I know where I fall on the continuum.