Food Haiku


My son was introduced to Haiku at his school. Seven year old’s seem particularly good at this kind of poetry. They are just learning concepts and rules for math and writing, but their little minds are still very much image based. Children are inherently in the create mode since they have not yet digested all these rules. I know it is an idea embodied in the Tao of Pooh and in Buddhism in general, but I learned from my students that to approach the world with a child-like mind opens up possibilities.

Cooking and poetry have a lot in common. When you think about it, there are a lot of recipes for things, but ultimately it is the creativity and the meaning behind it that make a memorable meal or a memorable poem. I’ll share with you a poem that I wrote when I was practicing Haiku. I don’t know that it is any good, but it means something to me.

You talk with your hands
Fluttering, you speak in tongues
Words fly over me

You talk with your hands
Deposited quietly
like stones in your lap

You talk with your hands
Your red rock ring glittering
soft fingers, meek touch

You talk with your hands
Clasped in mine, cold as ice-cubes
our faces sun-warmed

You talk with your heart
There on the sidewalk, waiting
Hands tremble like leaves

Children can inspire you to a lot of things. The other little something I have been experimenting with is Dahl (you might have noticed) because my son just loves the stuff. I’ve been thinking about trying food Haiku for  along time, so here is a little variation on a simple recipe of chana dahl using a simple poetic devise. I don’t know that it is any good either, but it was fun to write. I love the challenge of writing about something that you wouldn’t normally consider, it helps you to think when you get back to your own stuff.

Watch out for my foray into iambic pentameter.

Chana Dahl (GF, V, VG)
Dahl, yellow, one cup
Ginger, Garam Masala
leeks, garlic, chili
 
Boullion is tasty
asofodita is good
pepper might work too
 
add water to it
all in the pot with some salt
stir, boil, cover it
 
let it simmer low
until tender and tasty
Serve hot and steamy
 
thick on your tastebuds
eat fresh with curd and pickle
spicy, yummy, good
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