The Feast

A Word With Laurie, September 9, 2011  and Sunday Mini Challenge with Kim Nelson, June 29, 2013

Two prompts – A Word with Laurie – an eight line poem in eight minutes using the word “allegro” and Sunday Mini Challenge with Kim Nelson. A poem that is one of my favorites by Derek Walcott, Love After Love. THE poem that started my path to culinary school (1979) and the road to recovery from drug addiction (1990).

The Feast
“Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.” Derek Walcott

allegro is how I lived my life in the restaurant world.
in recovery from drug addiction I lived it andante.
Now free from all of that, I waltz: adagio.
today the air is like early autumn –
dried leaves drift slowly to the ground.
I sit under a tree and have a picnic with my life
feasting on it all – the delicious, the rotten, the mundane –
the sad cold French fries, the melted milkshake, and buttermilk pie.

 

 

 

36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helen
    Aug 24, 2019 @ 16:43:40

    As a musician I love how you incorporated musical terminology! Great job.

    Reply

  2. fireblossom32
    Aug 24, 2019 @ 18:20:03

    The details at the end make this. Poor sad French fries and melted shake. And yet, life always seems best when, like the primitive in Brave New World, we claim all of it.

    Reply

  3. Magaly Guerrero
    Aug 24, 2019 @ 18:22:10

    Food and words (creating them and delighting in them) are great therapy. They are so good at helping us focus on things that are good for our bodies…

    Love the bit of the poem you chose, too.

    Reply

  4. Helen
    Aug 24, 2019 @ 19:16:45

    I accidentally deleted your comment from my post …. but not before I read it! Thank you.

    Reply

  5. Olga
    Aug 24, 2019 @ 20:12:34

    “I sit under a tree and have a picnic with my life, feasting on it all.” Really love these words. ❤

    Reply

  6. ellaedge
    Aug 24, 2019 @ 20:41:19

    I love this feasting on life! Your poem reminds me of Julia Child’s quote:
    “Life itself is the proper binge.” I saw Buttermilk pie at the store today and almost bought it…you make me wish I had~ I enjoyed your feast!

    Reply

  7. Kerry
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 03:56:19

    A wonderful victory, Toni! I feel the mood of this poem so deeply, and respond to the calm sense of self-knowledge and assurance of the experienced traveller who has found peace.
    Thank you for participating today, and for your own contribution to Real Toads!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 25, 2019 @ 08:49:12

      Thank you Kerry. It has been a journey, extraordinaire. Thank you for all your hard work and caring.

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  8. sanaarizvi
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 09:18:31

    Such a poignant write, Toni! 💖 I love the images “the delicious, the rotten, the mundane –the sad cold French fries, the melted milkshake, and buttermilk pie.” Inspired ~ 😊

    Reply

  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 12:31:56

    To overcome your past and survive in such great 3 movements is great. Only the Largo of last is left…

    Reply

  10. Mary
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 13:36:27

    I like the idea of having a picnic with one’s life. It would indeed be quite a feast for most of us! Smiles.

    Reply

  11. Sherry Marr
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 13:45:53

    There is an awesome message in this poem, in the narrator’s ability to feast on a repast that might be somewhat less than she might wish. One of the best characteristics of humans, I think. Loved this poem!

    Reply

  12. Linda Lee Lyberg
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 14:59:21

    There is a such a profound message here Toni. Life is to be lived, and honored, the good, the bad, and the beautiful! And that buttermilk pie looks delicious.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 25, 2019 @ 15:22:58

      The pie is! I think it is best eaten chilled from the fridge. It is an easy pie. Any recipe you find on a southern site will be good. Basically eggs, buttermilk, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, nutmeg. During the summer I whip up one a month.

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  13. OT
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 15:52:30

    I sit under a tree and have a picnic with my life
    feasting on it all – the delicious, the rotten, the mundane

    a picnic we must all attend from time to time, in reflection is the ultimate result, we are distorted in the present

    Reply

  14. hhennenburg
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 17:29:02

    I wonder how much more life is being actually lived adagio than allegro, simply because we can pay attention – and feast! This is lovely.

    Reply

  15. Myrna
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 19:10:18

    Wonderful poem. We all have things to recover from, to ponder, to celebrate. Food transforms to life. Let us feast upon it.

    Reply

  16. Wendy Bourke
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 21:21:35

    A powerful and moving piece … eloquently rendered … with up uplifting and joyful backstory. An awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  17. oldegg
    Aug 26, 2019 @ 04:11:24

    What better to have one’s life and experienced much rather than regret what we didn’t do as we lay dying. It matters not that we make mistakes but so important that we learn from them.

    Reply

  18. jaerose37
    Aug 26, 2019 @ 06:15:43

    I love the peaceful resolution. May there be many more picnics

    Reply

  19. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES
    Aug 26, 2019 @ 09:06:49

    I had to look up allegro. I think a music term and food go well together. Love the idea of a picnic with life.

    Reply

  20. Susie Clevenger
    Aug 26, 2019 @ 12:46:38

    Ah..music and the food of life…love it.. This is my favorite line “I sit under a tree and have a picnic with my life”

    Reply

  21. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Aug 26, 2019 @ 19:02:01

    With or without the back story, this poem is exquisite! Almost tactile. I want to hug it. I want to eat it. I want to pick it up and dance with it.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Aug 26, 2019 @ 19:16:00

      Then dance away Rosemary. I have never had anyone want to dance with one of my poems before and I am chuffed. 😁

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