gluten free

"Things I'm Not Good At" by Jeff Moss + Broccoli Soup with Roasted Lemon + Contest Winners

I know I'm not the only one who doesn't like ironing. So let's have it. When it comes to domestic tasks, what do you really, really dislike? My shortlist consists of ironing, taking out the trash, and changing the sheets. Luckily I married a man who happens to have the very skills I lack. I'm really happy about this, by the way, because like any partnership, the things he generally dislikes, like laundry and dusting, I don't really mind. This poem by Jeff Moss captures the give and take, hinting at the mischievous note we've all played at one time or another, because if you don't like doing something, you must not have been blessed with the skills necessary to do it, right?

"Da Capo" by Jane Hirshfield + Lentil Stew with Chestnuts

You’ve heard the advice before: Write it down on a slip of paper and burn it, or wrap it with twine and thrust it into the ocean tied to a rock. Whatever it is, a vice, a relationship, a past, the physical act of releasing it to the universe is supposed to encourage an emotional release, too.

I’m here with Jane Hirshfield again, making lentils. This time, the speaker of this poem finds a subject who is broken and encourages her to “take the used-up heart like a pebble/ and throw it far out.” What comes next is a specific instruction to go home and make soup. The speaker provides details, tells us which order to prepare the ingredients. To do it, because, if one is in the position of just returning from throwing out their old heart, it might be impossible to put one foot in front of the other. So the list is one of grace, care and meant to aid the renewal process. Also, when you return from throwing out your heart, you may be hungry but not realize it, and need a little reminder to engage in the very basic act of feeding yourself.

"Tree" by Jane Hirshfield + Roasted Pepper and Lentil Soup

The California coastline is a long stretch of cliffs jutting down to the sea, but depending on exactly where you are in the state, the landscape can be quite different. Southern California is calmer, I think. Lighter blues, softer sand, golden rocks. Palm trees and eucalyptus trees bend over the edge, close enough to feel the mist of the sea. Once you climb north, the sea turns a deeper blue. The water is rockier, the waves rougher, the landscape more rugged and unforgiving. It's beautiful, wherever you are, but Jane Hirshfield, who wrote the poem I'm sharing today, is writing from the north.

Jane Hirshfield is one of my favorite contemporary poets. She is a master of illuminating the quiet places and finding meanings in the simple gestures of our daily life. Her poems are often greatly profound and spiritual, reminding us of connections beyond our physical bodies. I find myself returning to her poems often, never tiring of their beauty and insight.