I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

30 April 2008

Not an April Challenge

Spotted this at a friend's blog on MySpace and couldn't resist!

Write a poem including all of the following words: branch, flew or flu, humble, orange, steel or steal, jazz, flood, extra, jerusalem. Include at least one of the following actions: shoveling, rowing, falling or falling down, collecting, and one or both of the following phrases: "the best part", "if you didn't care".

Please note, my effort is fictional!

I Never Knew Why

I never knew why they were called
jerusalem artichokes. The best part
was all that oozy butter collecting
in the bumps and hollows, a flood
of yellow. My Dad sipping and slurping,
me shovelling the soft white flesh
into my throat. It would be a Sunday
and he'd be listening to a jazz trumpet
on the wooden wireless, he'd be
standing against the mantelpiece
to listen better, leaning one elbow on it.
If you didn't care for jazz, that was just
too bad, because Sunday morning was
for treats and feasting. He'd have worked
extra hours at the branch, and this now
was his time. Before he got falling down drunk
late in the afternoon, before him and Mum
started rowing, before the sun flew
too fast through the afternoon, too soon
turning to orange in the wintry sky…. Later
when he was old, he used to mention
"the humble artichoke" as a very good
vegetable, much underrated.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008



  1. I like the oozy butter image - it reminds me of well-buttered crumpets (the trumpet helps with that too) - not what you intended, but it takes me to the same sort of place the artichokes take you.

  2. :) Thank you!

    My Dad did like artichokes, that bit is true.