Every fourth courgette is spiralised,
I read in The Guardian.
Meanwhile I take down my china bowls,
my bendy spatulas, my bi-numeral scales,
my unlabelled jars of this and that,
my flours of many kinds (the thrill
of a light loaf with rye flour
and sour dough, a recent triumph)
my thumb and finger rub soft butter
through silky flour, patiently,
motes hang in the sunlight.
Grams and kilos would have flummoxed them,
but I am my mother, my grandmother too,
a conduit for simple knowledge,
the temperature, the place on the shelf,
length of cooking, the way to test the rise,
what seems like wisdom is merely repetition.
Today I have a visitor, an observer,
my daughter-in-law, who spiralises courgettes.
Vivien Jones – Her first poetry collection was About Time, Too (2010). In that year she also won the Poetry London Prize. Her second poetry collection was Short of Breath (2014). She is one of three editors of ‘Southlight’, a literary journal in south-west Scotland. She also writes plays.
I just have to see those rigs,
those bed-spread patches,
to see my mother sewing
fragments of grown-out-of clothes,
to make a summer skirt.
She laid the colours like plants,
like rows of summer blossom,
the cup of tulips, the tuck of roses,
the corduroy of new turned rigs,
I wore a garden in the sun.
While outside, my father
lined up wigwams for beans,
telling us wide-eyed children
they were magic, would grow
to the sky, where giants
might sing to a magic harp.
One by one, we lost belief
until there was only
the little red flowers,
the curling tendrils, the
fattening pods. Breathe in
and hide in the leafy tent,
runs a thumb down the seam,
pop the pods, catch the beans,
now that was magic.
Vivien Jones : Her first poetry collection – ‘About Time, Too’ (Indigo Dreams) published in 2010. In that year she also won the Poetry London Prize. Her second poetry collection – ‘Short of Breath’ (Cultured Llama) published in 2014. She has two short story collections in print and spoken word and drama pieces for performance. www.vivienjones.info