Challahs cooling on the counter


The sky is streaked with cinnamon,
there’s coriander in the clouds,
the saffron sun, not yet winter-faded,

glows on
the squirrels gathering walnuts,
from trees with nutmeg-sprinkled leaves.

My arms are still summer-browned,
the basil, a bit spindly, still green and fragrant,

but in my spice-scented kitchen, pumpkin simmers
in soup, apples bake in cake, vanilla floats in the air,

and round, golden challahs cool
on the counter

as the cockeyed world balances,
for a few moments

we’re caught in a honeyed glow,
the last bees of summer,
the waxing moon, waiting for fullness.

For my prompt on dVerse today. Next Sunday night is the start of Rosh Hashanah this year. I’m not religious, but I like the rituals, traditions, and having family get together. And the food! I like the symbolism of dipping apples in honey and eating a round challah for a sweet year. I will probably start my challah baking marathon tomorrow and do other cooking over the next few days. The autumnal equinox (vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere) is on Thursday.

103 thoughts on “Balancing

  1. Delicious, Merril! I love the alliteration of ‘coriander in the clouds’ and the sibilance of ‘saffron sun’ – so colourful – and squash and pumpkin are my favourite soup ingredients!

  2. This is such a scrumptious, scrumptious poem, Merril! Wow! 😍 I especially love; “Pumpkin simmers in soup, apples bake in cake, vanilla floats in the air, and round, golden challahs cool on the counter.” Soo satisfying to read and visualize 💘💘

  3. If a poem can be luscious, this one surely is. I saw a challah bread recipe recently with “easy” in the title. Maybe I’ll try this one. I may wait until my grandson can help me, if only for moral support.

  4. I really enjoyed the spice imagery of “saffron sun” and “nutmeg-sprinkled leaves.” The last bees of summer are acting strange around here. I got my first bee sting in so long while swimming in the lake the other day, and I keep seeing bees in the water, floundering.

  5. Delighted this has just landed, warm and fragrant, from a steamy dreamy kithen – yours! Loving that your dVerse is called ‘balancing’ at this very pivotal time of year . What a feast for the senses; thank you especially for first seven stanzas x

  6. So many beautiful examples of spicing up the muse. I can feel the uncertainty, the balancing act of transition, but mostly the warmth of your kitchen. I’ve never had a challah. Sounds scrumptious.

  7. This is gorgeous!!! I can almost smell the spice, see the sky, your still-browned summery arms … ah yes, the good life, family and tradition with lots of yummy food added for good measure.

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