breaking the mold…feelin’ dangerously cheesy
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. – Chesterton
In the pantry the dear dense cheeses, Cheddars and harsh
Lancashires; Gorgonzola with its magnanimous manner;
the clipped speech of Roquefort; and a head of Stilton
that speaks in a sensuous riddling tongue like Druids.
O cheeses of gravity, cheeses of wistfulness, cheeses
that weep continually because they know they will die.
O cheeses of victory, cheeses wise in defeat, cheeses
fat as a cushion, lolling in bed until noon.
Liederkranz ebullient, jumping like a small dog, noisy;
Pont l’Évêque intellectual, and quite well informed; Emmentaler
decent and loyal, a little deaf in the right ear;
and Brie the revealing experience, instantaneous and profound.
O cheeses that dance in the moonlight, cheeses
that mingle with sausages, cheeses of Stonehenge.
O cheeses that are shy, that linger in the doorway,
eyes looking down, cheeses spectacular as fireworks.
Reblochon openly sexual; Caerphilly like pine trees, small
at the timberline; Port du Salut in love;
Caprice des Dieux eloquent, tactful, like a thousand-year-old hostess;
and Dolcelatte, always generous to a fault.
O village of cheeses, I make you this poem of cheeses,
O family of cheeses, living together in pantries,
O cheeses that keep to your own nature, like a lucky couple,
this solitude, this energy, these bodies slowly dying.
O Cheese by Donald Hall
why is it so hard to see you get in that line?
the one where you wait to fly away…
my heart is so full of you.
I’m so very grateful for you,
for these days,
full and joyful.
Over way too fast.
There’s so much more to do,
ready for more,
standing so tall
with your quick smile,
and quick frown.
I think about you little,
eating cheese off your bed –
you were always a wild animal,
always manufacturing a tail from some found source.
You were always so much more than that –
you were always art,
always real life,
always finding God in the clouds,
always quick to find the silly,
my beautiful son.
I laugh through my tears
at the sheer gift of you.
I love you pure,
to the deepest depths of myself.
I can’t possibly comprehend it,
but I know, somehow,
God loves you even more than I do.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Fly free, be well, live full, and come back soon –
my only prayers
When the news came in over the phone
that you did not have cancer, as they first thought.
I was in the kitchen trying to follow a recipe,
glancing from cookbook to stove,
shifting my glasses from my nose to my forehead and back,
a recipe, as it turned out, for ratatouille,
a complicated vegetable dish
which you or any other dog would turn up your nose at.
If you had been here, I imagine
you would have been curled up by the door
sleeping with your head resting on your tail.
And after I learned that you were not sick,
everything took on a different look
and appeared to be better than it usually is.
For example (and that’s the first and last time
I will ever use those words in a poem),
I decided I should grate some cheese,
not even knowing if it was right for ratatouille,
and the sight of the cheese grater
with its red handle lying in the drawer
with all the other utensils made me marvel
at how this thing was so perfectly able and ready
to grate cheese just as you with your long smile
and your brown and white coat
are perfectly designed to be the dog you perfectly are.
Good News by Billy Collins
photo sources found at http://www.pinterest.com