Two poems for April

For April, two poems published four years ago in a small anthology. Are poems like omelets? What is inspiration?

A r s   p o e t i c a

Water drops in hot oil disappear instantaneously
like meaning in conversation between two
who do not speak. Steam and sizzle, pop, sound
out a string-theory rhythm. Eggs separated, whites
beaten stiff, yolk to lemon yellow, make the best
omelets, if you fold together the parts again.

Whipped egg whites and egg yolks ready to be folded together for an omelet.
“Eggs separated, whites/ beaten stiff, yolk to lemon yellow, make the best/ omelets…”

The pan is not enough, by itself. After the eggs
brown and float on the oil, they need the oven.
Heat the filling, well cut and mixed, spiced
with pepper and garlic. No one will taste such
a breakfast; no feast leaves these pages—
cooking with pleasure and love, seeking 

Separated egg-omelet, rising in cast iron skillet.
“The pan is not enough, by itself.”

nourishment. There is no universal way to
cook eggs; there are many. And which eggs?
What filling? Who graces the table to join
this morning repast, a slip of a tongue
on the garlic clove, a red pepper bite,
the silvery cool of basil sliding down—

Separated egg-omelet, in cast iron skillet, finishing in the oven.
“After the eggs/ brown and float on the oil, they need the oven.”

don’t sing this song, or repeat this recipe,
it will only get you in trouble. Serve with
salad, cheese, orange juice and hot coffee.
Eat well, in silence if need be, for this may
be the last meal. Or the first. Or none.
Dance like water turning to steam in the skillet.

Cheese omelet.
“Eat well, in silence if need be…”

 

I n s p i r a t i o n

Of course, they say a dollop of sweet in a pot of salt:
ten-percent inspiration, ninety sweat. Perhaps the bank
clerk Eliot spoke of daily work, practice like the firefighter,
preparing for the poet Eliot’s hot blaze.

Outside this balcony a road curves, down
toward the shipyards at the bay,
containers suited for rail, truck and ship
lined up along the stunning sea.

Lake Pokegama, Minnesota, dusk ©2005 Michael Dickel
“Ah, to be carried off by fire or water,/ dreaming of reaching another’s shore…”

Ah, to be carried off by fire or water,
dreaming of reaching another’s shore,
words an emanation up, down, up—
but how do we know if nothing received

or sent the silence just before the big bang?

Open Door (Tzfat, Israel) B&W photo ©2006 Michael Dickel
“words an emanation up, down, up—”

Both poems originally published in print

  • Dickel, M. (2009). Ars Poetica. Listening to the Voice Inside: Poetry from the Voices Israel Workshop, Haifa, 30.6.2009. Jerusalem: Voices Israel. Print. p. 61.
  • Dickel, M. (2009). Inspiration. Listening to the Voice Inside: Poetry from the Voices Israel Workshop, Haifa, 30.6.2009. Jerusalem: Voices Israel. Print. p. 24.
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