I’ll write a sonnet built of liquorice tea
of almond flakes and sponge with raspb’ry jam
no one shall taste the meaning save for me –
it shall be hidden well in seasoned ham.
The bite of lemon on my eager tongue
sweet berries mixed with mascarpone cheese
I wipe away the sugar when I’m done,
leave to the sparrows crumbs that do not please.
Let sweet and savoury pies be rolled and filled
roast beef and parsnips, mustard, gravy boiled;
fresh lemon sole be caught and finely grilled
my fork with fettuccine nicely coiled.
My tonsils from their sweet hot cave rejoice:
the pastry chef has given me a voice.
I cut the grease with water boiling hot
detergent bubbling like a snow capped dome
I wash the words to see what they are not
and look for silver tines to take them home.
What shall the ending couplet now expound?
I’ve cleaned and polished language to the bone
fresh tastes, exotic spices rarely found
but still the sonnet leaves me not alone.
I search the cookbook longing for a taste
of wild plums that will raise my poem high:
why let the shortcrust pastry go to waste?
For even little Jack played in his pie.
I take my finger from the pot of jam
go out into the world, see who I am.
first published in Phoenix : The University of Sydney Writers Journal 2006 p. 108
Nearly a decade since I wrote these “tongue in cheek” sonnets in Judith Beveridge’s poetry class at USYD.
They still make me smile 🙂