Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Poem #27 for Poetry Month- Sicilian Septet

A Sicilian Septet caught my eye as the form to try out this morning with seven lines of ten syllables each and an A B A B A B A rhyme scheme. An iambic pentameter rhythm ~/~/~/~/ and so on for ten syllables is the plan, which is trickier than it seems of course. Songwriters are especially attuned to internal beats, rhyming line endings and modulating emphasis syllable by syllable. So are writers of most picture books, another genre which is much more difficult to compose successfully than adult fiction writers ever imagine it to be until they try it.

This poem was inspired by the lush crop of volunteer greens in our greenhouse, grown from seeds which the previous season’s mature plants let fly inside the greenhouse where dill and kale have taken up permanent residence for the last few years. The Chinese mustard, which may have hitched a ride in some compost which didn’t fully “cook” a clump or two of it containing its seeds, is a new indoor spring crop and a welcome peppery addition to salads and stir-fries. The dill is a reliable three-season source of fresh flavour to add to roast whole salmon, dill pickles, potato salad and dill pesto, which is probably our favourite pesto of all.  

Try three tablespoons of dill pesto with cooked farfalle or any compact pasta, six ounces of chopped smoked salmon, a tablespoon of capers and another one or two of finely chopped red onion. Add a dash of heavy cream or a glop of plain cream cheese or alfredo sauce to mellow it all out and you will be in your happy place speedily and forthwith. Fantastic warm or cold.

These photos were taken yesterday, April 27th, and our task is to eat all these greens before it gets too hot in the greenhouse for them because by late May, I will need their soil for the new crop of tomatillos, five kinds of tomatoes and the English cucumbers now growing in their starter flats on the potting bench. I will leave the dill in the main beds as we will continue to enjoy it during the summer and fall seasons ahead.

Gardening is absolutely my favourite hobby of all. Hope springs eternal and all that wise stuff. Growing green things is good for the soul. There, I said it with a straight face. Don't get me started on my Meyer's Lemon tree. It's worthy of a poem unto itself. Maybe tomorrow...

One Season’s Green Bounty Must Make Way

Here is the lush and lovely kale in spring
The dill and Chinese mustard volunteer
For long mild months of winter lay sleeping
But now April days bring Sun's heat to sear
And kale in every dish is appearing
Tomatoes and cucumbers hover near
Yearn for depth and breadth and summer’s blessing


  1. Haha! Then my work here is done! Our new motto should be: Make 'em laugh and cry and make their tummies rumble!