Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sacred (Fools hiding in Whales)

Inside a whale skull, Science museum, Raleigh, NC

There should be warning labels on nature
or i may need to wear gloves
when i cut the pineapple

It's no easy task,paring away the skin,
all the little brown dimples & removing
the core without losing much meat

thunkah, thunkah, thunkah
each pass of the knife, a sigh

i gnaw the hard center, like chicken
bones, not wanting to miss any

chunk the rest in a blue bowl
for dinner, my fingers burn, burn-ing, burn
as the juice searches my hands

for each cut or nick, crawling inside
& rutting out every little flaw leaving
none unnoticed---even ones i did not know

rubber gloves may save me the pain,
or i can wash my hands, go on about my day
but can never claim ignorance.

a blind man now able to see, would he
put his own eyes out again?

i put the knife away & watch a sparrow
search the yard for seed through the window.


written for Imperfect Prose & Poetry Jam

77 comments:

DJan said...

What is it about pineapple? I can't even eat it straight without it making my tongue sore. And my hands when I cut it up, same thing.

Daniel said...

Nice piece, subtle yet clear as the day.

ninotaziz said...

Nature has a way of reminding you it's there. Uncompromising. Take it or leave it.

By the way, how are those two adventurous boys, Brian?

ninotaziz said...

Haven't been blogging and my keyboard is playing tricks on me.

Wander said...

Good morning Brian...

I fricking love pineapple!

I like the flow of this poem.

How is life, and how is your friend?

Wander

Sue said...

Pineapple. Can't live with it; can't live without it.

;)

Daydreamertoo said...

Ouch on the pineapple juice finding all the open nicks on skin. It's a bit like acid burning. I know fresh fruit is best but, bugger cutting up a whole pineapple, I'd rather buy the pineapple rings in cans... LOL

Lorraine said...

Nature is better observed or have an expert at hand...lol ;)

Tara Miller said...

Pineapple....love it! We all have wounds and issues we want to hide and think are better off just ignoring. But....our loving Father knows best and in His perfect timing and in knowing just how to get our attention has a way of opening our eyes to what he sees and walking this path to healing with us. Yes, it can be painful and we might not want to deal with it but once we realize and accept that He is Faithful and wants the best for us - it gets easier.

Great write today, love!

Myrna R. said...

Nice way to acknowledge the sacred in nature. Hope we don't wash our hands and chose not to see.

Mary Mansfield said...

Sometimes that nagging little pain is necessary tool for making us pay attention to flaws and hopefully do what we can to fix them. Love the vision you shared with us. Thanks so much for joining in on this week's Poetry Jam! Now, to go find some pineapple...

Nikki said...

Oh to see beyond the symptoms.
To experience fully...

enjoyed your poem, Brian.
and now I want some pineapple... {Smile}

AmyLK said...

I love fresh pineapple. But my store has a pealer/corer right in the produce department and I make use of it every time! :)

Lisa notes... said...

"a blind man now able to see, would he
put his own eyes out again?"

No, but there are times I wish I could be ignorant again. Just thinking this morning about something I wish I didn't know. But I do know. And I'm sure it's for a reason...

Thanks, Brian. Beautiful poetry and thoughts as always.

Pat Hatt said...

Chopping your hands as you chop away
Would not make for a great day
Never tried such a thing at my sea
But that prob doesn't surprise thee
Yeah nature has a way of winning every time
Proving we are not so sublime
And above it
With each little hit

rosaria williams said...

Easy does it, with carving anything, be it a tomato or a big roast.
And the possibilities can turn up in this poem!

elizabeth said...

Thinking about all the delicious Ghanaian pineapple I ate on our recent trip. :)

Magpie said...

I use one of those pineapple corers. It works well, but you still have to deal with the juice finding those nicks and cuts. I like how you chew the core "like chicken bones".

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Brian,

Did you live overseas for awhile? Your pineapple story leads me to that ponder.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Brandee Shafer said...

I think Tara Miller knows you sixteen bazillion times better than I. :) I wish I were quicker.

Mary said...

I love pineapple; but I refuse to buy a fresh one to cut up, as it is just too much work. Now if someone else would do it for me,......... A good write, Brian!

Claudia said...

it takes a bit of bravery to take the rubber gloves off and let him find the spots and cuts..think i'm still wearing mine too often..

Jinksy said...

You made my mouth water...

Gloria said...

Love pinapples! and is true are difficult to cut, I dont use gloves, but I leanerd to cut carefuuly is not easy,
need patience, like love, friends and all, and sometimes I feel so tired lñike today LOL
Thanks Brian

Beth said...

You always write the most beautiful prose. Even able to mingle the mundane and sacred in a sort of dance. Beautiful, Brian!

Thanks for stopping by Messy Marriage to encourage Heather too! :)

ayala said...

We all have wounds and some that take time to discover but unless we take off the gloves and feel the burn... we can't heal... Great write, Brian.

Alice Audrey said...

No need to put out your eyes, but it might be a while before you want to cut another pineapple.

Vicki Lane said...

So much more than just peeling a pineapple. . .

Dolly@Soulstops said...

oh, the layers, you revealed in your poem as you cut that pineapple...love it...thanks, Brian :)

Fred Rutherford said...

What a cool and strong ending here. Really good write. Also, perhaps it's the kid in me still, but I love sounds as words representing sound, thunkah is a great one, really nice touch. Thanks

Syd said...

Nature puts up great defenses. So do we a lot of times.

Steve E said...

GOOD! For a second there, I thought you were going to prepare the sparrow for an hors d'oeuvre...need a whole host of sparrows.....
Nice one, Brian!

Justin Lamb said...

I like how you bring such a mundane event to life and make it interesting.

the walking man said...

You made my tongue water with the thought of fresh pineapple. Why look for the cuts and openings that juice will sting, you know they are always going to be there but that fresh pineapple...man it is going to go fast. pulp it up into your barbecue sauce. YUM!

Rebecca S. said...

I like the continuity of this poem. Not sure that is the right word...flow might be better. Anyway, I also happen to love fresh pineapple. It's the first thing I go for on the fruit platter, but if I eat too much it hurts my tongue.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Hmmm, pineapple? Very interesting piece.

manicddaily said...

Hi Brian, at first I thought - hmmm--odd analogy to blind man, but I'm seeing it more - especially given the stings of all we do see (when we see) and the sweetness of that pineapple.

K.

Deus Ex Machina said...

Life blooms in simple things. I wrote a story about a watermelon sage once. He told me a secret, and then he died.

It is in simple things where zen is found.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

i love that first paragraph. I thought this was very descriptive and wonderful. I took a pineapple journey but I didn't have to suffer the burns.

Helen said...

I had a co-worker born and raised in Hawaii ... he taught me the finer points of peeling/cutting/slicing pineapples. Up to then I had literally butchered every pineapple I tried to serve! Had to laugh at DJan's comment ... yes, a negative to consuming lots of the fruit is a sore tongue! And, here I thought it was me!

hedgewitch said...

As many layers cut away here as that pineapple, to reveal the nicks on the soul that are always searched out by something, and made to sting. A fine poem, Brian. One of my favorites of yours.

kaykuala said...

Peeling the pineapple can be an experience. The more that are pared off layer by layer the less risks of itchy tongues there are. Great write Brian!

Hank

Laurie Kolp said...

You have such a way of making the ordinary into extraordinary... and I can so easily picture this.

mrs mediocrity said...

oh, ugh, those pineapples are a bear...

i love the way you turned this moment into something other, and then into something other again. seeing those ordinary moments through fresh eyes.

wonderful.

Anonymous said...
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rebecca said...

i always love it when you visit, thank you for that, and your words that lead me straight back into the arms of life!

Betsy said...

Did you do this yesterday? Because I cut up a pineapple yesterday...and gnawed on the core. lol. And you know I watched birds out the window. :) hahaha.

Betsy said...

no stinging cuts on my hands though....

Tara Pohlkotte said...

love watching the bird. love the seeping into each cut. the search and the burn.

emily wierenga said...

this reminds me of the parable in which we're to sell everything we have to purchase the field in which the diamond is hidden... the treasure that is the kingdom of heaven, the seed that sparrow is seeking, and not wanting to miss any of it. your writing blows my mind brian. so does your compassion.

Elliot MacLeod-Michael said...

Nice job of finding depth in the ostensibly mundane

Gloria said...

Thanks Brian always think in you like a swet and nice friend x. Gloria

adeeyoyo said...

You have such a great knack of picking up on detail that we all just take for granted and don't really see any more, Brian, e.g. '...for each cut or nick, crawling inside & rutting out every little flaw leaving none unnoticed---even ones i did not know...'. And the rubber gloves bit - how true! The blind man - brilliant!

Rachel said...

I really enjoyed this! Especially the can't claim innocence part.

^.^ said...

Note to self: 2 cans of pineapple :)

The Unknowngnome said...

No mincing of words in this. You begin and end with nature and in the middle cut its innards.

"paring away the skin
.....like chicken
thunkah, thunkah, thunkah
.....a sigh
.....chunk"
great music!

As to your question: can one unsee a seed?

Really enjoyed this B.

SueAnn Lommler said...

The ritual of preparing food makes all of us kin! With all the familiar sensations and taste.
We are humbled and human and hungry.
Hugs
SueAnn

Valerie said...

Brilliant write. Thank goodness I don't like pineapple... smiles.

wordwand said...

a lovely piece of writing as sweet as a piece of pineapple hhhhh.well done man brilliant as usual.

Heaven said...

I like the details here..the paring away, the juice searching for hands, pouring into the flaws of ourselves. Effective use of the metaphor..simple yet very deep ~

Dave King said...

Exceptional this, perfected by the final couplet.

CiCi said...

Fresh pineapple has an incredible flavor but you are so right about the acidity and burning. Worth it though, huh.

I like your sounds, thunkah.

I am not very good with the sounds, and I would like to be better. Writing words that make people hear the sound you want to portray is a talent.

Christine said...

Visiting from imperfect prose. I understand this one. Yeah! You have so much talent.

You have commented on my blog a few times because I link at imperfect prose. I just wanted to thank you for that encouragement. I know it takes a lot of time. Thank you.

Peggy said...

Thank you again for visiting my blog and I Iike your pineapple poem very much. I never thought of wearing gloves working with pineapple--guess I am still blind! Excellent poem.

farmlady said...

and then... did you know that you can't put fresh pineapple in Jello. The gelatin won't gel.
Interesting juice...
Interesting 'in the moment' poem...

PattiKen said...

I love pineapple. Thing is, the pineapple is dead set on self-protection, isn't it? They are totally worth every little cut and sting, though.

Alexis said...

Brian,
I never wear gloves while carving pineapple. No pain, no gain. Right?
I'm learning to take the good with the bad. There is a lot to find in the burning, a lot to learn too.

SaraV said...

Hi Brian, thank you for visiting me today. I love the intro to this, and how many senses you touched, thunka, stinging, blue bowl, I could just taste that yellow tart/sweet flesh!

Neha said...

was this poem on cutting a pineapple or meat?? ;P
nice poetry, entertaining!!

Geraldine said...

I like the flow of this poem too. And the ending, most of all. Full circle at the kitchen window.


http://mypoeticpath.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/my-poetic-path-at-amazon/

Jules said...

Certain things I guess are labors of love. Like making home made chicken soup. I confess, I get canned pineapple. Though I've watched a few cooking shows and those chefs make it look so easy...

Hannah said...

I like the unique sound of this:

"each pass of the knife, a sigh"

and you had me salivating with this:


"i gnaw the hard center, like chicken
bones, not wanting to miss any"

lol

I really enjoy your ending with the bird blindly poking around for seeds.

Excellent poem!!

Annmarie Pipa said...

my 10 yr old was in charge of the pineapple today....most of it ended in the compost...he'll get better every time...

Sreeja said...

I don't know exactly but this one took me to a vision totally new...I am sure I'll read it many more times...

turtlememoir said...

I love the (I could almost say) intimate detail around the pineapple cutting, the way the juice gets into each possibility of crevice in the hand... and this question:

"a blind man now able to see, would he
put his own eyes out again?"

I sometimes wonder that too

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh you have one of those annoying spam things happening a few comments up. From the simplicity and normality of cutting a pineapple, you peaked at metaphysical reflections, and then allowed the reader to rest as we watched the little bird on the lawn. This was one wonderful poem to read!!!!!!

poeticlicensee said...

Lessons to be learned from Nature's natural acid...