In my last post, which featured a draft of a new poem, I should have mentioned my indebtedness to Gregory Orr and to the King James version of the Bible, as well as to Rudyard Kipling for the affectionate phrase “O Best Belovéd.” *
It’s fascinating, the inflections of English–and the way some of our archaic forms of speech still show up, such as the extra syllable pronunciation option for a word like beloved. I appreciate, too, the connotation of one whose emotional being feels connected to another person. We nurture those connections when our children are young, when we fall in love, when we feel intense compassion for another person–sometimes, even, when the person has died and the feeling of being a beloved and having that beloved near linger.
My own best-beloveds fall into all of those categories. I believe I can say I have a full heart.
As my last two posts featured poems of sadness, I wish to change things up. This one’s a love poem and a food poem, a cozy piece for the approaching darker weeks.
Says the Stew Cook to Her Belovéd
Cat’s leaped on the kitchen counter, pawed a walnut from the bowl.
Liter of red wine waits for dinnertime—can’t say I’m not tempted, though.
Low sun highlights the bottle’s deep maroon while I make stew:
turnips, potatoes, garlic’s liquor, bay-leaf—needs only you.
Cool weather calls for firelight and whatever cooks long.
This cook longs to influence your taste, your tongue.
Since night’s expanded its acreage, taking over December,
we can build upon the dark, fill nooks with aromatic hours.
Come taste soup, share coriander scent, sip from this spoon.
Lick clean the bowl, my love, cover pots, come to bed soon.
~~ * I recognize, however, that for many many readers, the word Beloved will most closely be associated with Toni Morrison’s daring, beautiful, wrenching novel by that title–a work I highly recommend.