Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ethos




My true friends must be lovers
of tomatoes and onions.
They relish the bare mellow redness,
paired with the thrill of a hot bite.

All unfamiliar with the rush
of sun-warm fruit straight from the vine,
more liquid and coreless than Eve's apple,
are but mute strangers to me.

No mustard? No horseradish?
Walk on by; do not make a pass.
Celibacy of the senses
is an incompatible condition.
I cannot trifle with those
who refuse to taste life.



willow, 2010



to join Magpie Tales creative writing click HERE

82 comments:

  1. I am with you on making a pass on the mustard but I do love a bit of basil with my tomatoes.

    Your poem is both eloquent and witty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Acorn, actually I am advising the person who doesn't like mustard and horseradish not to make a pass at me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ha. quite the dstinction you draw there willow, but i lke those with a taste for life as well...well played magpie....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to see that on this front, too, we qualify as "true friends". No culinary puritanism here. Me likes me summer dishes squishy and sensual, spicy and loud.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, how I agree with you. Yes, yes.

    Bisou, Cro.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am with you, but you'd have to show me how to have mustard and horseradish with tomatoes! :-)


    I love toasted slices of French baguette, thick slices of sun ripened tomatoes, both cut into cubes, good extra vergine olive oil, a bit of salt, then mixed with your hands to make sure that the juices of the tomatoes mingle well with the bread. A few dashes of vinegar, torn basil leaves, feta cheese or fresh mozzarella are possibilities, but they are luxuries I can live without if the tomatoes live up to the promise of their "bare mellow redness".

    A good American BLT sandwich is a strong contender for second place. Well, may well be a tie!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haaaa! "Celibacy of the senses" is classic. Wonderful, Willow! I'll be your close friend any time--I love tomatoes and onions...and lots of other fine things. Delightful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many word I loved in your post! Planting words watching what grows. Thank you Willow!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, to tomatoes and onions -- especially sweet organic Vidalias,
    heirloom Brandywine tomatoes, together with dill/basil/French sorrel -- hold the mustard and sprinkle on some olive oil. -- barbara

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, to tomatoes and onions -- especially sweet organic Vidalias,
    heirloom Brandywine tomatoes, together with dill/basil/French sorrel -- hold the mustard and sprinkle on some olive oil. -- barbara

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are welcome at our table any time, Willow. We are debauchees when it come to garlic and onions! Hot and spicy? Bring it on!

    I stand with Merisi on the perfect way to enjoy tomatoes however.

    ReplyDelete
  12. wonderfully said
    beautiful words
    and I agree whole heartedly

    ReplyDelete
  13. Heh, heh! When the local tomatoes ripen and come on the local market, I don't bother with slicing and such; I eat 'em like you'd eat an apple or a peach. Ah, paradise!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Roy, that's exactly the image of biting into a whole tomato I had in mind, when I wrote the second stanza!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Merisi, you're making my stomach play music. It's only 9:00 am here and I want lunch!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gosh, "condition" was spelled weird! Why didn't somebody tell me? That's what you get for posting early without contacts!

    ReplyDelete
  17. No room for 'celibacy of the senses' when it comes to fully appreciating life. I like that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your concluding line is etched on my heart!
    Such a lovely cool, sensual poem..........
    reminds me of W C Williams "This is just to say"

    ReplyDelete
  19. I live for homegrown tomatoes! Nothing is better in July than a tomato sandwhich. At the 1930's Dinner in Monroeville last Friday, there was a huge platter of the most beautiful heirloom deep red and golden tomatoes! Food for the Southern gods!
    And when winter is upon us...tomato basil soups are number one on my menu!
    ***Take one large home grown tomato, remove top slice, score about 1/2 inch deep in criss cross style, sprinkle with fresh chopped basil, a little salt and pepper, and fresh grated parmesan cheese...broil until the cheese melts slightly ...or leave off cheese!
    Great with just about any entree or by itself at lunch!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think I'll go dive into the sun-ripened fruit barrel this AM for breaky, nothing like a cappachino and fresh veggies on the porch swing...and maybe some 'cucumber sandwiches sliced ever so thin'...Howard's End...that cracked me up when I read that a while back on your blog...a fave of yours too I see...well la de da!

    I too have a clock fetish...ha! Loved the scenes of your homelund, looks like Ioway!

    s

    ReplyDelete
  21. I got so carried away with the thought of tomatoes....I forgot to say I adore this poem....another one to post in our kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sweet Repose, and here, I thought no one noticed my clever little Howard's End quote a while back! I knew we were kindred spirits.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So you're saying I should have planted habeneros along with the tomatoes & banana peppers?

    LOVE the poem - you're so right that we should taste life!

    P.S. We ate at the mill but were disappointed - slow service & cold food. HOWEVER, I had ordered their ginormous pancakes & brought most of them home & ate on them for several days - once warmed in the microwave they were FABULOUS!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What wonderful words, I'm so happy to have found your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My post has a dash of horseradish..glad to know there's room for spicing up life!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lovely evocative piece, love the 'celibacy of the senses' phrase.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh so sad, but true - my beloved will not eat tomatoes and it breaks my heart. A "celibacy of the senses" indeed! And an "incompatible condition."

    How I ask her, HOW, can you deny the taste of this most perfect fruit? Especially in summer when they are so huge, ripe, warm, and juicy?

    It just kills me that this is a joy we can't share. She also will not eat peaches, strawberries, blueberries, or plums. Can you imagine!? It makes me so sad, and really is a bit of an issue between us!

    ReplyDelete
  28. i always love tomatoes,
    eat them fresh during summer time,
    excellent illustrations of tomatoes and its usefulness to life.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I, too, am a fan of the tomato and loved your post on one of my favorite foods. This year,for the first time, I planted Julia Child tomatoes and am eagerly awaiting my first juicy bite.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wonderful piece Willow, I love my tomatoes fresh and raw...unsmothered with condiments and concern. I have the same feeling towards those who do not consume coffee as you to those who do get tomatoes... do not understand those people....how do they get through life?.....bkm

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ha Willow!

    Love your ditty
    cute and witty
    what a pity
    nothing more rhymes that I wanted to say....

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh woe is me. I have to admit to the world that I have never (and can't imagine it happening) eaten a whole tomato straight. In salads yes, in cooking absolutely, but I fear I would break out in hives with all that juice running free. On the other hand a mango really turns me on. Not celibate, but perhaps wearing a condom??

    ReplyDelete
  33. love the line

    bare mellow redness.

    delish!

    i hope i have some red tomatoes to harvest when i return!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love tomatoes and onions, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Delicious and inviting words Willow. I love eating sun warm tomatoes with one hand, just like an apple with the juices running down your chin. Divine. When did you change your photo? Very striking photo of you.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you, ET, it's a photo taken last summer. My daughter was here last week and suggested I use it, since it's her favorite picture of me. So, I did! :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Such a fun poem and so well written -- I loved this magpie!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Dear Willow: I sense the Tuscany sensibilities here. Much gusto for a tomato lunch en pleine air. Love this line;

    "more liquid and coreless than Eve's apple,
    are but mute strangers to me"

    Those temptingly ripe tomatoes temptations await the palate takes too long to get to a plate; hear not their kirlian cries; divine feast on a vine...thus Willow caves to desire (thus the celibacy part) and then your basic "vini vidi vici" approach to tomato-preparedness the primal need to eat of the fruity/veggy flesh like Eve so wonted to do...ah ha! moment By Jove, I've Got it too! Who else in the family has this affliction for those tasty nibs in the gardens of our delight? (I admit I've got a terrible case of the "in situ ETC's or where they grow eat 'em Edible Tomato Compulsion").
    Love the mag~ C'est magnifique!

    Does anyone have a great gazpatcho recipe?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hey, Chicco, I just so happen to have a super-duper gazpacho recipe and pic on my sidebar!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Magpie with a "tude" .... love it!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Now you have upset me Willow. And I thought you were my friend. And to denounce me in such a public way. Oh cruel you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. 'I cannot trifle with anyone
    who will not taste life.' A delightful ending for a superbly crafted poem!

    ReplyDelete
  43. A pinch of salt...that's all I need...but I do love the gloriousness of all the extras...olive oil, onions, capers, basil, lots of black pepper, and on and on...

    ReplyDelete
  44. Willow I completly agree with you. This poem is so fresh and unique.
    Love it! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Me. Too.

    A few years ago I had a first date with a guy (we were both in our forties) who said he made frozen dinners every night for supper. We never had another date.

    "Must love food."

    ReplyDelete
  46. ah yes! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! Auntie Mame said that!
    Great Magpie!

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Delicious poem. I'm salivating just thinking about home grown tomatoes and onions and mustard and horseradish. Yum!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  49. Kathew, I adore that Auntie Mame quote!! It pretty much sums up my point.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Willow, Nice poem, but I guess I don't qualify. :(

    I do like onions and tomatoes - only the cooked versions. The exception being small diced tomato & onion in fresh salsa with hot peppers, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Does that count?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Love the poem. Thank you.
    Brought back memories of my childhood. My granddad grew them and I used to spend hours with him as he looked after them in his greenhouse. He grew yellow ones especially for me and I used to sit and eat them straight from the vine. I can recall that tomato smell so vividly.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Willow,
    She/he who plants a garden believes in the future.
    And I guess it's OK to make a pass at you? ;)
    rel

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anyone who has an ancestral castle named after a French ice-cream HAS to be worth following. Tom. X

    ReplyDelete
  54. One of the reasons I come here Willow is to get a little daily "taste of life". I have wonderful memories of eating ripe cherry tomatoes off my Grandmother's vine every summer!!

    I can't believe I missed a Howard's End quote!
    :-(

    ReplyDelete
  55. Breathtaking, Willow!

    Last summer, my friend and i were at the farmer's market buying tomatoes and we couldn't resist them and eat them like apples with juice running everywhere, laughing. This poem captures that moment for me!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Of course tomatoes and onions drizzled with olive oil, food for the Gods!

    Christine

    ReplyDelete
  57. Oh wow! This is why I left my last boyfriend. I was too young to tell him so elegantly -- and he was probably too, um, foolish to understand.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sweet poem! The first stanza holds both bite and mellow. Mmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  59. mmm- got the grape tomatoes ripening up as we speak...gonna be goooood

    ReplyDelete
  60. Jealous of your vegetables, and of your way with them in words.

    :-9

    ReplyDelete
  61. Tomatoes,
    True, naked,alone.
    Nuclear feast.

    ReplyDelete
  62. awesome! I love the reference to eve's apple, beautiful image which really adds depth. I almost died when I found out my husband doesn't like tomatoes...but then again, he grew up in the city and only tasted green house varieties, so can I really blame him? fresh off the vine, are truly divine!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Dear Willow,

    I have always loved tomatoes as fruit and vegetable, in salads, curry, with steak or fish, so your poem really evokes a sense of belonging.

    Maybe you could put all the tomato inspired stories in a book and call it, 'THE TOMATO STORIES'!

    Not very original, but you get the idea...

    Thanks Willow!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Celibacy of the senses, I love that.

    I am in agreement with you on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Put a Zhivago hat on it and I'll taste anything. ;P

    ReplyDelete
  66. What a refreshing poem ! quite nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Nino, that is actually a great idea! I'm going to think about that...hmm.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Magnificent!

    This poem elicited memories of my childhood in Michigan, where my siblings and I would wait anxiously for our Mom to distribute tomatoes as our summer snacks.

    Thank you, Willow!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Lovely poem! I particularly like the comparison to Eve's apple.

    ReplyDelete
  70. the poem is perfection...as always

    loved my visit here today.....

    i have missed you, my friend
    sending love
    kary and teddy
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  71. Willow! Speaking of new sidebar photos....your is lovely!

    I am 100% with you on this poem....NOTHING beats the smell and taste of a tomatoe and onion...warm from the sun and just picked.

    Did I ever tell you my Mum came from Ohio? She was first generation - her parents were Croatian. They lived in a teensy town - Lansing....(that's Ohio, not Michigan). It is almost on the Ohio River and if you cross a bridge, you are in Wheeling, W.Va.
    A hilly, magical place. I remember my Grandparents had tomatoes, onions and other veggies growing...and I can still remember the taste (and smell) of the first delicious tomatoe my Mum picked for me off the vine... heavenly!

    So glad you daughter came to visit....you both must have had a wonderful time!

    Hugs,

    ♥ Robin ♥

    ReplyDelete
  72. Willow,

    I love this! I will definitely have to "play" next go round...

    Thanks for visiting my UDPS site.


    Rhyme on!

    Tim Keeton
    (Undead)Poet / Wizard / Teller-of-tales

    ReplyDelete
  73. Willow,

    I did a "duh"...

    You visited my Tim Keeton, Writer site, not the Undead Poets Society (but please do stop by there as well).

    Rhyme on!

    Tim Keeton
    (Undead)Poet / Wizard / Teller-of-tales

    ReplyDelete
  74. I love mustard and horseradish...I like to take some of the creamier horseradish and put it at the back of the roof of my mouth just to make my eyes water. Ha! Delicious.

    Fabulous Magpie, Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  75. great work willow. and a great expression of a personal philosophy I can totally support. love the last stanza. life is for the living!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Wonderful poem Willow boy do i love tomatoes. I can't eat a meal without them and onions as well.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I keep seeing the image of this in my mind after reading it the other day. Onions , and abundant freshly ground black pepper , basil, good olive oil, sea salt.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Lovely poem Willow! WIll become a follower:)

    ReplyDelete
  79. I was delaying making my dinner - a veggie sandwich and fruit smoothie. This poem has pushed me over the edge. Time to get offline! ; )

    ReplyDelete

Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)