Gleaning

This entry is part 73 of 93 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2011

Glyko Karythi: Green Walnut Spoon Sweet [Greek]

What falls, will fall of its own accord
because the season dictates it— acorns
and chestnuts on the ground, leaves now
beginning their russet plunge. No sword

needs to sever the filaments, no word
except what blows, mostly unseen, through
the late hours. Sometimes the light thud
of a globed body: hard green pear, gourd

bitter with unripe longings. Fall’s rewards,
we think, are tinted scarlet: apples, late-
blushed nectarines we gather, moving from tree
to tree. But also the rough, raw, blurred.

A stinkbug on the railing drops, not quite unheard,
to the porch floor. The seed’s housed in a shell
that cracks to metaphor. I marvel at how walnuts
packed whole in honey were once hard, uncured;

but yield all, steeped long in sweetness, complex art—skin,
flesh, bone you could cut, clear to the wrinkled heart.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Dear recklessness, dear jeweledBearing Fire →

6 Comments


  1. I was so amazed at the way you turned the walnut into a heart, and the gourd, bitter with unripe longings. I love it, really love it!

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Joanna! I was trying to post the ????? ?????? Greek transcription of the sweet’s name here, but haven’t been successful… :)

      Reply

        1. That’s my fault, Luisa — when I set Via Negativa up on this server, I used an outdated installation script that didn’t choose UTF-8 character encoding, and it’s a bitch to try to go back and reconfigure the database after the fact (though somehow I did figure it out for VN’s sister-site Moving Poems). So VN doesn’t do Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Chinese, etc, just Roman. Maybe I’ll give it another go…

          BTW I didn’t know there was such a thing as an 18-line sonnet! I’m impressed that you were able to do so well with my woefully unpoetic prompt (“thwack”?!).

          Reply

          1. O.K., database rejiggered! We are now UTF-8ified, Luisa, and you should be able to post non-Latin characters to your heart’s content.

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