Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Getting Ready to Bake Cookies...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Photo credit: humblecrumble.com


I flip through a cookbook
and select, as I sometimes do
a recipe I’ve never tried before—
a cookie, full of aromatic spices
cinnamon, nutmeg, clove
even a pinch of pepper

I stir some dark, robust molasses
and the spices into flour
butter and sugar
then roll teaspoonsful
of the thick brown batter into balls
line them neatly in rows
on cookie sheets
and slip them in the oven

Gradually the kitchen
fills with an old, familiar fragrance
I can’t immediately identify
In a few minutes, I remove a pan
from the oven, wait for the cookies to cool
then roll each one in powdered sugar
as the recipe indicates

One taste
transports me to childhood—
This is pfeffernusse!
that classic Christmas cookie
that spicy little gem I hated
the cookies that turned to rocks
clunkers at the bottom of the cookie jar

These were the cookies Mom offered
when there was no other sweet in the house
the ones that bobbed in her coffee cup
dripping as she ate them with a spoon

Today, all those mingled spices
the dash of black pepper
are pleasingly hot upon my tongue
the sweet sugar coating
the pungent aroma
are positive proof

the taste buds of my youth
have definitely
grown up

Maude Carolan Pych


I'm excited to announce that I'll be reading some of my Christmas poetry at two events in December. If you are available, I hope you'll attend.

The first is the Holiday Reading, Thursday, December 1st, 7 p.m., at Montclair Public Library Auditorium, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ. Other featured poets are Susan Lembo Balik, R. Bremner, D.M. Dutcher, Frank Niccoletti, Elizabeth Marchitti, Ken Ronkowitz and Bob Rosenbloom. An open reading will follow. This event is hosted by Laura Boss and Maria Mazziotti Gillan.

The second event will take place Saturday, December 17th, 7 p.m., at the ANT Bookstore & Cafe, 345 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ. I will be joined by two poet/friends, Pastor EJ Emerson and Sister Jane Abeln, SMIC. Holiday music will be provided by Victoria Warne, Peter DiBella, Rikki Woods and Lidya Diaz. An open mic period will follow. Come, enjoy the festive atmosphere and Christmas cookies, too! James Gwyn and Victoria Warne host this monthly evening of poetry and music.

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