Summer Tomato – Love Poem

Summer Tomato:
I’m not talking about those
Mushy wannabe red globulous things
In plastic trays in the pro-duce section of the store –
I’m talkin’ ’bout tomatoes born
And raised in the heat of the summer sun,
Sassy summer tomatoes full of juice,
So tangy and sassy that before
You can stick your fork into a slice
Lying innocently upon a plate,
One of those bad boy slices
Jumps up and slaps you across the face –
Twice.
No, not talkin’ ‘bout those demure sweet things,
Those tame ‘maters with bland flavor –
I am talkin’ bout those full fledged
In your face, deep red, full of bite,
impertinent summer tomatoes
And we all know the best ones comes
From the gardens of your mama,
Your grandmama, a neighbor, your own backyard
Or from a basket in the back of some sorry looking
Pickup truck parked on the side of the road –
“Fresh Vegs – Cheap!”
The bed filled with sweet sticky pearl kerneled corn
and all sizes of ‘maters: Rutgers, Better Boy, Homestead –
none of those trendy purplebrownromagrape ‘maters,
unpretentious no apologies ‘maters,
or still moist from dew butterbeans,
Begging you to open them and strip out the beans
Into a bowl – plopplopplop
And those toe-may-toes…
Warm from the sun – skin smooth and tight
Sayin’ to you –
Stroke me, hold me, bite me –
Slice me on the plate with those cooked butterbeans
And corn and let me join my juices with theirs –
Spoon me up, sop me up with warm golden cornbread…
And swallow down with sweet iced tea –
Summer tomatoes – The feisty street punk of tomatoes –
No sweet mushy debutante,
No dry flavorless academic,
No all on the outside nothing on the inside
Vegetable hypocrite…
The Real Summer Tomato:
‘tween my fingers and my thumb,
Watch out belly – here.it.comes.

52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. angieinspired
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 15:50:06

    slap me up a tomato

    Reply

  2. kanzensakura
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 16:01:10

    The.best.part.of.summer. i am dreaming of my first ‘mater sammich in the next couple of weeks.

    Reply

  3. Linda Kruschke
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 16:02:57

    This is such a fun poem. It reminds me of the garden we had when I was a kid. I’ve never been a fan of raw tomato, fresh from the garden or otherwise, but I do know that the homegrown variety are the best. My dad, my mom, my husband, will all attest to that. Peace, Linda

    Reply

  4. lorriebowden
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 17:19:15

    Ah!! Can’t tell you how much I love this one, Kanzen!! And as I arrived in “Jersey” last night I think it won’t be long before I find a homegrown fresh “Jersey tamata!” Hope you are well! ❤

    Reply

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 18:04:34

    This is so wonderful.. I love all the images of those tomatoes.. my mind wanders to the delight the they could be. Like humans almost. No debutante indeed. 🙂 Somehow I hear Neruda in your poem.. but I can’t say why.. Probably just because it’s good.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 15, 2015 @ 19:11:17

      Wow…thank you. I started this last year and cleaned up a week abo. Neruda…I am so totally not worthy…thank you.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

  6. DELL CLOVER
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 20:59:30

    This is gorgeous poetry–and you have my mouth watering!!!

    Reply

  7. Grace
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 21:36:01

    Wow, now I am craving for those summer tomatoes ~ I specially like how you describe them as:

    Sassy summer tomatoes full of juice,
    So tangy and sassy —

    sounds divine….

    Reply

  8. Mary
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 23:19:03

    Yes, you are right — the best ones come from somebody’s garden! And, sliced on the plate with those butter beans (or most anything really) sounds terrific. Have some tomatoes planted here – a few different varieties. Now you have me really anticipating their ripening!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 15, 2015 @ 23:33:04

      My husband says he is surprised I do not turn into a tomato considering I eat them for three meals a day until they are no more.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

  9. Gabriella
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 23:25:31

    I just love those summer tomatoes, the kind that does not grow in a greenhouse and that one eats with a bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt and fresh herbs, and maybe some mozzarella. Your poem makes me long for that time again.

    Reply

  10. X
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 07:44:28

    You have captured the tomato well. One of my favorite summer treats. My great uncle really got me into them. The last year of his life, I was his ward for the summer. I took care of him, watched over him, learned from him. I was 10, maybe 12. He was in his 90s. We worked in the shop, worked the yard, went for walks, hit golf balls – and every day for lunch he would send me to the garden to get a tomato, or I would use the ones from the colinder on the table – all home grown – and make him a tomato sandwich. Every time I eat one, I remember him and that last summer.

    Reply

  11. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 11:54:31

    Where is the l.o.v.e. button? This is such fun, Kanzen. You continue to amaze. Love it! ❤ ❤ ❤
    The rhythm puts me in mind of the Music Man, Robert Preston in 1962.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 16, 2015 @ 12:15:15

      You mean as in P double O L pool? Robert Preston was so talented and charming. I hadn’t thought of that…it’s what I call a “talking” poem….it was fun. I’ll probably do another at some point. 😎

      Reply

  12. claudia
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 12:22:54

    oh my goodness…. now i want some…. tomatoes.. ha
    honestly – i love tomatoes – and you really realize quite quickly if you have the artifical or real sort in front of you

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 16, 2015 @ 12:37:18

      Yes you do! Some markets around town try to fool people by putting the ersatz ones in willow baskets or that sort of thing to make them look “rustic” or “fresh”….people who truly know aren’t taken in. There is a small farm market about a mile from me where I buy my eggs and honey from. They’ll be having their daily picked veggies next weekend for sale. I can hardly wait.

      Reply

  13. Desmond, Anthony (@iamEPanthony)
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 12:59:55

    stroke me hold me bite me… we still talkin bout tomatoes on that part? hahah… I just started somewhat liking them, actually… yet to have one fresh from the garden, only plastic trays. Me and tomatoes are on & off

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 16, 2015 @ 13:20:47

      Trust me, if you ever had one of these bad boys, you’d be totally on. The texture and flavor would fill your mouth and make you moan in delight. Truly…..not those mushy flavorless slices of gunk on a sandwich. The first tomato of the summer is a religious experience.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

  14. MarinaSofia
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 15:06:50

    A lovely Southern twang (or is that a drawl) in that spoken poem. And I just love myself a bowl of tomatoes with a crusty baguette and a bit of cheese – nothing more needed for a perfect summer meal! But I’ve never attempted to put them in a sandwich…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 16, 2015 @ 15:34:07

      It is a slow drawl, grin! Yeah, people eat the sandwiches all kinds of ways on all kinds of bread. We like the plain, common, soft manufactured white bread, slathered with mayo and the slices of tomatoes making the bread all pink from the juice. We call them “sink sandwiches” because they are so juicy, you either with a bib or over the sink so as not to make a mess of yourself.

      Reply

  15. Glenn Buttkus
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 15:11:45

    Around our house, my wife is the ‘mater mama; over the years she has decided to raise & consume only the small yellow juicy sweet ones; I like them too, right off the vine. Wow, though, I still crave a beefsteak thick-sliced ‘mater & sweet onion sammich on sourdough, slathered in mayo. You wrote a fun-filled perfect illustration of your prompt, colloquial yet so much more, energetic, kind of of Beat poetry with a hillbilly redneck twang to match the tomato tang.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 16, 2015 @ 15:31:51

      Yeppers….I don’t want the sweet ones. My grandmother used to make preserves from them. I want the acid drenched ones….in this area, we use regular white “loaf bread” with lots of good mayo, salt and pepper and eat the sammie at the sink so the juices drip into the sink while you eat it…I can hardly wait for the first crop to come in.

      Reply

  16. anmol(alias HA)
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 17:12:31

    Ah! What a delightful read. I love the amusing rhythmic flow and the lively imagery of the many tomatoes in your words.
    In our diet, we need tomatoes for all our gravies. It just can’t be the same without tomatoes. 🙂
    -HA

    Reply

  17. Sanaa Rizvi
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 18:04:15

    This is such a delicious piece of work 😀 Well penned!

    Reply

  18. Candy
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 21:19:01

    impertinent tomatoes – I love it!
    Now, I think I’ll go raid the fridge.

    Reply

  19. katiemiafrederick
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 23:14:54

    Ah.. the Fried Green Tomatoes of life.. tangy and crisp.. tomatoey and fresh..
    but ugh.. slimy too.. like okra slices of life.. oh.. i still try them now and
    then.. as the movie is too good to pass them up in nostalgia of taste..:)

    Reply

  20. Bryan Ens
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 23:47:04

    Yum! I’ll agree that there’s nothing quite so good in either aroma or flavour as a fresh, ripe tomato!

    Reply

  21. billgncs
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 00:47:29

    out of the garden, better than an apple !

    Reply

  22. rosross
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 06:33:24

    Love it. These days you have to grow them to get real tomatoes although I will say, here in Malawi they grow them as one would in a garden and they are delicious. We buy them from the road sellers.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 17, 2015 @ 06:49:53

      Manyof the farmers around here participate in farmer’s markets and the varieties of fresh produce is astonishing and reasonable in price. It is almost time for tomatoes to be in season.

      Reply

  23. sreejaharikrishnan
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 09:39:09

    Interesting….at points funny…tasty ..,,and really tangy…

    Reply

  24. Vagrant Rhodia
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 10:58:53

    Am I ever getting an education here! I knew there was something missing in my life lol Thank you so much for your inspiration 🙂

    Reply

  25. Kathy Reed
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 13:27:15

    Very cool, or very hot, depending on one’s point of view – could not have said it better!
    There is something special about those heirloom tomatoes that hits the spot..even if a little green..and they make great salsa!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jun 17, 2015 @ 14:03:15

      Oh yes they make excellent salsa. At the of the season I make salsa and put up along with thgreen ones that might get prone to frost, those are used to make a wonderful relish with the last of the bell peppers. Good stuff!

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

  26. Adriana Citlali Ramírez
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 17:57:19

    Yes, those little red delicacies do like to jump up and, occasionally, slap us across the face! It happened to me today at lunch!
    I really enjoyed this poem.

    Reply

  27. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Jun 18, 2015 @ 15:41:01

    This is just gorgeous, cocking a snook at that supermarket synthetic stuff. I wish I’d written this!

    Reply

  28. Sean Michael
    Jul 18, 2015 @ 17:20:49

    Eating and making love — two of life’s greatest pleasures.

    Reply

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