Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Strawberry Rhubarb Pie"

Happy Thursday, all.  In case you’re wondering, the poem at the bottom of this post isn’t new; it was written in May 2008—however, it hasn’t appeared on the blog before.  I’m taking this opportunity to post it by way of giving a plug to my own little corner of the poebiz universe, namely my poetry page where you can buy the book in which this was published for a mere $8.00 USD—or download it for free as a pdf.  The book is called The Spring Ghazals, & it contains poems I wrote between May 2008 & February 2010.

That’s not all, however.  There are two other books available at my storefront: The Days of Wine & Roses, which contains poems from my San Francisco days in the 1990s, & Nightingales in a Stateside Zoo, which is made up of the poems I wrote while living in Charlottesville, VA in the 1980s.  I know some of you have already purchased or downloaded these, & my heartfelt thanks to you! 

Hope you enjoy the poem.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

If memory serves me right it was time for dessert
not to mention a beige cottage house baked into a
shimmering egg crust this happened so long ago last
Thursday or earlier even another lifetime etc.
outside the lemon sun gleamed thinly pungent
a gray haired mutt was turning
circles in the street of course you spoke to it
simpatico of course &
that street really went no place
& that snow wasn’t granulated sugar that snow was
salt in everyone involved’s
wounds &
you were almost gone just then Good -
bye good-bye this is something like
memory, a late winter’s day oh
early afternoon
Then I thought I found love &
lost it & I thought I found love & lost
it walking the floor off-tempo couldn’t
eat couldn’t sleep etc. a country song & so forth the
years passed as they do pass they were
red peonies shedding their petals where Eberle
planted them next to the hammock
& under the cottonwood not to mention a
tune you hear dreaming you can even hum it
you wake up the tune is lost inside yourself
it’s the red red taste
of the best pie you ever ate sad to say that was
long long ago last Saturday you were
                                                      someone else
                                                      & love was different then
                                                      a magnolia in February
                                                      a moonlit railroadcar diner
                                                      an fm radio dialed far left of the dial
& I thought I found love &
did like a ’58 Harmony archtop cradled in my arms & my
lap & found love & sat lonesome & loved & savoring
those last forkfuls of strawberry
rhubarb pie Eberle’s baked again & has spooned on a
blue blue china plate & you don’t know this however the
rhubarb’s growing where now and again a sunset
drips syrupy thru the honeysuckle hedge
& the thorn tree’s growing there too
& that’s all about love after all this Friday &
for awhile
& nothing’s bitter just now only
memory tho memory’s not bitter

Jack Hayes
© 2008-2010

This poem previously appeared on the Haphazard Gourmet Girls blog—many thanks to the editors of that site


  1. I love how you use the pie to seamlessly weave back and forth between the past and the present.
    If I were Eberle, I might be disinclined to bake this particular pie too often, (but that's just me.)


  2. I've never been a fan of rhubarb, but this poem makes me like it quite a bit for all its bitter-sweetness.

  3. Hi Kat & Audrey

    Kat: I really, really appreciate your support--thanks for the Twitter RT & FB comment! The back story to this poem is really quite complicated; hopefully, folks like it on its own merits.

    Audrey: Many thanks!

  4. Delicious poetry. We have a huge rhubarb crown out front. It's the biggest I've ever seen (and we're always on the lookout for a bigger one). Currently trying to grow pumpkins too, although what I'll do with them all, I'm not sure: I just like them.

  5. Hi Dominic: There are so many things one can do with pumpkins, but never under-estimate the pumpkin pie! Of course, you can use them pretty interchangeably with winter squash--but you need a sharp knife & a steady hand. Glad you liked the poem.

  6. The winders of modern technology John. I have downloaded Nightingales to my iBook Library on my iPhone. The system works very easily and I am now looking forward to have the poems with me on the move.

  7. Hi Alan: Thanks so much! Poems on the phone--who'd have thought of that back in the 80s when those poems were written.


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