#Tanka 52 — Dreaming of Ratatouille

Original artwork copyright (c) Sarah Potter 2020
Peppers and eggplants...
dreaming of ratatouille.
Solanaceae,
a coat of many colours,
some deadly, some nutritious.

Tomato — Art Meets Poetry

A couple of weeks ago, I braved moving on from sketching to do my first acrylic painting. The subject was a humble freshly picked tomato from the family allotment. The painting isn’t perfect but I’m quite proud of my effort.

Mister suggested I accompany my picture with a saucy, gently humorous free verse poem that I wrote more than two decades ago and then posted on my blog in its early days. The verses heralded from a challenge I set one winter Sunday afternoon while visiting some dear friends. This followed on from a roast dinner and an unspecified number of glasses of red wine, so all present were feeling particularly merry. It involved us each writing a poem in five minutes on a given subject, the first subject being “tomato”.

Plump tomato
you remind me of Maisie
on a Sunday, scrubbed clean
beneath a fresh bonnet,
shiny red cheeks
green eyes and lace frills,
smiling, basket upon arm.

Maisie loves the vicar
and brings him freshly picked tomatoes
matching her cheeks.
She smells of compost and lavender soap.
He asks her for lunch after church.

Their eyes meet over large tomatoes
eaten whole that squelch
as the juice runs down their chins.
She giggles into her lace handkerchief,
he wipes his chin on the tablecloth,
and over the crockery they kiss,
all tasting of fresh tomatoes.

She giggles some more.
He squeezes Maisie the plump tomato
and they disappear under the table
beneath newly-pressed linen.
Maisie's cheeks ripen until she shines
with the shiny red plumpness
of ready-to-eat fruit.

The vicar praises God for tomatoes
and descends upon Maisie for dessert.

Copyright(c)Sarah Potter, 1997