Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poem of the Day: “Catalog: Native Seeds” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Catalog:  Native Seeds” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month.  Ms. Hamilton will also be serving as the guest judge for the Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest, which will run from September 1 to October 15, 2015.  A detailed biography of Ms. Hamilton may be found here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2015/08/songs-of-eretz-poetry-review-poet-of.html.  The contest guidelines may be previewed here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/p/songs-of-eretz.html.

Catalog:  Native Seeds
Carol Hamilton

I like a chance to work
with the world as opposed
to against it. Chiles are
Capsicum annum.
I think of drying
for piquant winter soups.
But this all quickly complicates
itself. Most of these grow
only above 5000 feet.

Some names: Del árbol,
Escondida, Chimayó,
Negro del valle, measured
“medium to hot, increasing
after a few seconds” or
“slow to heat in mouth”
and my tongue flames
just thinking of it.

Daunting instructions: wear gloves,
take care not to touch your eyes,
even those listed as mild
may burn the mouth, cover
branches with loose bags.
Native somehow sounds simple.
The print is … and bears
the charm of named things.

But I detect, being ever
too anticipatory, some other truth
that simmers with the sun wavering
its dance above summer asphalt.

Poet’s Notes:  A poem born from love for the sound of namings, the charm of dreaming of feasts, and then the warning, which always comes. There is more to this story than it at first seems.

Editor’s Note:  As a lover of hot sauce and all things spicy, I find this poem particularly diverting.  It makes me nostalgic for hot wing nights at the local Buffalo Wild Wings with my son, also a hot sauce enthusiast, now away at college.  Catalog:  Native Seeds” was originally published in EDGZ.

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