Now All Grown
I'm thinking back on a time when someone was standing in front of me, giving me a bit of advice, not great advice, but sound common sense sort of advice, where I listened, though I couldn't help but think, “does this person think I don't know this?”
Thinking back on all the places I've visited, and lived... the great experiences, the hurdles I attempted and achieved... my aspirations and ground yet to be covered it sometimes dominates my belief. I must be dreaming, I keep telling myself... perhaps the reason I might come across a little, or maybe, a whole lot naïve. The funny thing is, when it serves the suitors purpose (conjecturing here), I'll get told how I need to project this positive, upbeat attitude, again essentials I hardly need reminding of, as meanwhile in the next ear over, it's this optimistic outlook that's often mistaken for naivety. It makes me laugh, “you can't win,” as if what drives me is even a game. It's not. It just happens to be a part of my nature, the way I operate.
Inspired by Marcia Mayne's post *A Perfect Meal* on Inside Journeys, what I interpreted as speaking to the company we keep, it tickled me the way she put it. Actually, it made me grin really wide because although the prose reads literal, the way I'd taken the advice up top, reading between the lines left unsaid mentions worth my while to appreciate. So I told her I planned to share one of my poems; the one that flashed before me after I finished reading the post, which likewise is not to be taken literal, but as an abstract piece written in evidence of moving in and out of circles with an obedient purpose in mind. Enjoy.
Now All Grown (from inside GEM, ©2005, 2008)
Been around and tasted plenty;
hot and spicy curry,
mouth puckering and eye watering kimchi,
sweet and lemony shish kabobs,
salty antipasti salad fresh with anchovies,
jelloed soy bean Giai Chac drink
and tasteless rice paper
stuffed with blends of grinded food
duck, snake, hamburgers and hot dogs,
and the peanut buttered and jellied sandwiches.
The vinegared collard greens and fried cornbread,
the black beans, hot tamales, and chicken enchiladas.
Jerk chicken and Honey wine Tej
and chicken saturated in the darkest Roux.
Schnitzels and schweinekoteletts,
pierogis, jollof rice
and big spongy sourdough bread;
kung Pao chicken...
piquant pugent Sichuan style,
and Sushi rolled in dried seaweed.
Had my cuisine on floors,
in backyard, inside tents,
on revolving roof tops,
over water and on dry land⎯like sand,
in the air, on my knees
served from both low tables
and no tables on carpet spreads,
from diners to cabaret ballrooms,
even in places where I could lick the floor,
to places where I had to pick up my feet to eat.
I've eaten in a group, as a couple, and have dined alone.
No longer am I prickly, I'm now all grown.
My eyes are open,
my nose no longer turned down,
but don't get me wrong,
I love myself, always have,
but standing in place is not where I belong,
⎯a cultured pearl, ballerina poised
with whale skin, a sheep's memory,
and a bear's revenge,
blame, blame, blaming
while poetically singing
and crying the dark lady's blues.
To set the record straight,
I have just moved on,
away from strict Soul Food.