I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Monday, 6 August 2012

squeezing an orange

squeezing an orange
why don’t you do it

sieving the pips
between cupped fingers
dripping sticky-sweet

the tiny cut
in your thumb
at the corner
of the cuticle

juice spurting
all over the counter
the beef cutlet
and your blouse

why don’t you do it
for life is short
and death is long
and now is all we have
just this moment now

this precious moment
of bittersweet oranges
sharp pain acidic rain
of juice and your smile
trickling through the curses
the chaos and the tears


Anonymous said...

Love it all especially: this precious moment of bittersweet oranges sharp pain acidic rain of juice and your smile trickling through the curses the chaos and the tears

Dominic Rivron said...

Thank you. I was feeling pretty browned off until I read that. I'm now distinctly orangier.

As I type I note that I have one of those thin "paper cuts" on one of my middle findgers. If I tried what you suggest it would kill.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Would you believe Robert that reading this poem really made my mouth water as I read it.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for reading, Anon...

... and Dominic, I once had a 'paper cut' on my finger at the start of a Camino. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to stop the bleeding until a very kind pharmacist in Geneva sorted it out.

Really, Pat? That's good. I was afraid it might have put people off citrus fruit for life.

pilgrimpace said...

beautiful and true Robert - for me this is one of your best poems.

thank you,


Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Wonderfully evocative words, I especially liked, '...your smile trickling through the curses the chaos and the tears.' I could see her face.


Friko said...

That is good, keep it. I'm sure you will, anyway.

That is really good.

George said...

A very fine poem, Robert, and one that I especially needed to read today. May we all keep squeezing the orange with passion, presence, and gratitude.

Ruth said...

This precious, sensuous moment, that you created!

After a rather prudish life in the church, one of the great releases was helped along by Nigella Lawson; her sensuous approach to food changed much for me, and I attribute greater appreciation for the feel and look of food to her. Squeezing citrus in the hand is the only way to do it for me now, even in spite of those paper-thin cuts that make themselves known.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Andy . . . and welcome, Jane!

Friko, that's kind of you — I'm a bit unsure of the last few lines, though.

Thanks, George, and I'm glad the poem touched a chord for you.

Ruth — thanks for recognising that sexual/sensuous edge to the poem. The goddess Nigella! A mention of her is welcome on this blog at any time!

Goat said...

Enjoyed this one too, SW -- you're on a roll! (I'm reading in reverse order from most recent).

My made-from-concentrate convenience store juice today will probably not inspire such verse!

Anonymous said...

A detailed description of peeling an orange.