National Poetry Month

NPM2018_PosterIn honour of National Poetry Month, we’re posting two poems that were sent to B.A.S.E. Daycare from two Canadian poets last school year for our Food Revolution event.

Rachel Rose, poet laureate of Vancouver (2014-2017), sent in a previously published poem called Feast, and George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-2017), wrote a poem specifically for our event called A Foodie’s Alphabet!

We hope these poems inspire you for National Poetry Month. You can find some ideas for activities for young readers as well as a pdf booklet of poems for “Poem in Your Pocket Day” from the Canadian League of Poets. You can also find three winning poems from EMSB students here.

A Foodie’s Alphabet
By George Elliott Clarke
7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17)

A is for Apple;
B conjures up Bread;
C is the Chapel
Of dough that I knead.
D is for Devour;
E  leads to Eat.
F is flowers of Flour
Lilies grown as wheat.
G fields plush Grapes;
H harvests Honey.
Ichor my mouth gapes
To quaff is sunny,
Is I. J pours Juice–
“K”–for Kiwi–yes.
For Licorice, use
Lmakes a mess
Of Mac-n-CheeseN
Stands for Nachos–hot.
O signals Oven.
P is for Pan or Pot.
summons Quinine
A tonic to add
Fizz to medicine.
R is Radish–clad
In red, white in flesh:
Apple-like, but not
Sweet, yet hotly fresh.
S don’t suggest snot–
Which ain’t edible,
But a common spice–
Salt; Incredible
On fries or black ice.
T gotta mean Tea
With toast, marmelade.
U is Udders–key
To milk, as it’s sprayed
In pails. V means Veal
The fate of sad calves
To serve as a meal
For gourmets–or wolves.
W‘s Watermelon:
Nothing gives more juice–
Except a felon
Whose seat blows a fuse
When the switch is thrown
To electrocute….
X is Xylophone
What spare ribs transmute
To–in metaphor.
Y must serve as Yak
And Z Zebra. Store
Both as a meat-pack–
Even if unsure
How they’ll taste. Just crack
Vinegar’d sack. Pour!

By Rachel Rose
Harbour Press

The table is set with stars. Come to the table.
Put away your anger and your guitar.
The apples are baking. Tallow drips from candles.

Nothing can hold back death. Come to the table.
Set your burnt spoon aside in a difficult drawer.
Wipe the sin from your mouth. Come as soon as you’re able.

The wheat’s in the barn and the barge. The babe’s in the cradle.
The history that led to the railway cars
is a trunk you can leave at the dock. Unbridle, unsaddle

the dappled horse in your greathearted fable
the horse that you rode to the battle, and then to the wars.
The salmon’s been pulled from the sea, and served with its shadow.

Come to the table, beloved, the three-legged table,
for you are the bell jar’s hammer, the broken-down door.
What’s crooked finds balance on matchbooks and elbows.

O prodigal child. O sage of the bluegrass piano!
The buckets catch buckshot that falls from a bonfire of stars.
You were stabbed in both hands by the bees that you robbed in the grotto.
We’ll serve halos in moon-mist. We’ll capture tornadoes in jars. Come to the table.


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