Recipe Poems

A Conjuring by A Conjuring

Grandmother's Bread by Wilda Morris

Raspberry Mousse; or, Wherein I Unwittingly Assist My Ex-husband, Who, On Behalf of our Son, Prepares My Mother's Day Dessert by Joanie DiMartino

Deconstructing Chicken by Adina Cassal

Collage by Lisa Mase

Foraging by Carolyn Wells

The Baker by Janine Certo

A Poem That Wants to Call Itself a Recipe by Jax Peters Lowell

Corn Chowder by Penny Baert Zywusko

Kugel by Sharon Lask Munson

Muffin of the Morning by James B. Nicola

simplicity by Lois Baer Barr

Recipe for Disaster by Jonathan Pacic

Affogato by Lettie

Fall Harvest by Holly Mitchell

The Apple by Kerry Ruef

Brunswick Stew by Lyle Estill

Two Poems by Brenda Butka

Bread by Eva Szabo

Squash Blossoms by Allison Wilkins

Our Table by Joan Seliger Sidney

Recipe for Spaghetti all'Amatriciana by Georganne Harmon

The Agony of the Leaves by Gail Bellamy

Greens by Paulette Licitra

Strudel by Eva Szabo

The Almost Adulterer's Guide to Menu Planning by Michele Battiste

The Pie Series by David Colagiovanni, Melissa Haviland, and Becca J.R. Lachman

Midsummer's Night's Spaghetti with Saffron by Johannes Berchtold

A Cannibal's Suicide by Dean Kostos

From the Garden by Nancy Vienneau

orang slizez jell o shotz by Amy Stetzl

Phở bò Hà Nội by Kelly Morse

Cooking Class, Marrakesh by Georganne Harmon

Spread Triolet by Dana Stamps

The Things Kids Eat by Paulette Licitra

Maybe This Year by Esther Cohen

Braociole by Joseph Bathanti

Basque Cooking by Richard Hedderman

Two Poems by Adrienne Christian

Jailhouse Crack by Harlan Richards

Cinnamon Sticks by Wally Swist

Best of Both by Nancy Vienneau

Cinnamon Sticks

by Wally Swist

August 2012

You asked me years ago, Tell me how you know when to use them?
I do not remember what I answered you then, but it is in their aromatic

sweetness and their pungence that they can achieve piquancy in a dish.
It can be in a simple curry, or in a Bolognese. Stir the cinnamon sticks

in with extra-virgin olive oil in a pan over the flame, several dashes
of coriander, cumin, garam masala, a whole bulb of crushed garlic,

diced sweet Mayan onion, chopped Holland and green bell peppers.
Then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, a pound of uncooked ground beef—

the sliced zucchini goes in last—and love, yes, an ingredient of love,
over low heat for an hour, although it is the last component in the concoction

that neither one of us will ever forget. Seeing you standing at the crosswalk
the other day, as I did just happen to drive past, when we both waved

and smiled, made me think of your asking me about cinnamon sticks,
and how I can finally offer you an answer specific enough,

in that I use them the same way I would massage those knots loose
in the muscles of your back, then place kisses on each of your bare shoulders.

It occurred to me that I use cinnamon sticks just that way,
although I did think about another question you would ask me,

which was, I want to know what those lights are
when I look at you; what are those lights, and where do they come from?

After all these years of our being separate from one another,
but together being able to enter ever further into the light of what is beatific,

that shines from each of our faces, it appears through this
radiance we have become aware of that question having answered itself.

Photo by Elizabeth Wilda   Wally Swist's forthcoming book, Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love, was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as a co-winner in the Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Competition and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in August 2012. Another book, Winding Paths Worn through Grass, will be published by Visual Artists Collective, of Chicago, Illinois, in early 2013. He is the author of 20 books and chapbooks of poetry.

Photo of "Cinnamon Stick " under Creative Commons.