The heavens are full of ruby-hued jewels,
alive with the ridged wrinkles of glistening garnets,
awash in the juices of fruitful glory.
Ah, the delectable flesh of this sky!
Round the center seeds small and smaller
wink like stars in a carnelian firmament,
the center itself a nebula where a million suns
cluster in bright profusion,
flinging out spiral arms
to the edge of the known universe—
an event horizon of pale pith
and speckled skin.
I wrote this poem last week on a day when I was feeling weepy and disconsolate. Winter does that to me. All the rain and the gray skies start to oppress my soul. But I’d been reading The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon.
Father Capon (he’s an Anglican priest) insists that we stop and look at things and enjoy the thinginess of them. He wants to open our eyes to the wonder of creation. Food is his way into that wonder.
So I took a page from Father Capon’s book, in which he spends an entire chapter meditating on an onion, and I spent a half an hour looking at half a grapefruit. It’s rather a marvelous fruit when you stop and actually see it. Attending to the grapefruit, wonder of wonders, took my focus off of me, and I began to feel less weepy and disconsolate, more smiley and consoled. Taking my cue from those tiny starlike seeds circling the center of the fruit, I wrote this playful little poem. I flatter myself that Father Capon would appreciate it.
The Supper of the Lamb is a corking good book, friends. If you like food or wine, you really must read it. Ditto if you like art, music, poetry, literature, or theology. And if you dislike all of those things but you’re rather fond of air, you, too, should read this book.
I wrote a “review” of it (for some definition of review) over at GraceTable, the most beautiful new place on the interwebs. Please come join me for a truly delightful bit of writing (if I do say so myself). It’ll give you a taste (pun intended) of Father Capon’s even more delightful book.