repast 2s

The table is full of noisy ghosts–
they are woven through
the cloth that warms the bread–
simmering in the bowl of broth,
poured into the wine glasses,
reflected in the blade of the knife.

They gather in unrelated absence,
unknown to each other or themselves–
their years are few and many,
ages compressed into moments in time,
their stories fed by seasoning,
by the harvesting of lives.

Lingering beyond sustenance,
beyond hunger, an ache
that vibrates both blood and bones–
faces shadow the vacant chairs–
they whisper into the ceilings
and behind the dark walls.

Jade (hosted by Grace) at dVerse has us writing about food.  I first wrote this poem for an Ekphrastic Review challenge, but it was rejected.  I wanted to rework it a bit and do a collage, so this was the perfect opportunity.

repast close up s

If you want to see the artwork, by Anne Vallayer-Coster, that was the inspiration for my poem and art, and see the responses chosen, you can find them here.


28 thoughts on “repast

  1. Sometimes words fail in finding their arrangement. I will try anyway. How these multisensory experiences get jumbled in with their attached memories into an emotionally charged stew that still sparks with life is a mystery both humbling and poignantly inescapable. The collage is a still life, but is still alive.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just had a visual lightbulb go off that you inspired. Those threads of associations are like the filiments of the fungi underground that connect the trees with each other, while at the same time gradually decomposing them. Thank you for being a catalyst ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is my kind of poem, Kerfe! I love the table full of noisy ghosts and the way that you’ve woven them into everything. I often wonder about who has been before me when I sit in a café or restaurant. The verbs in the first stanza breathe life into the scene, so that you can almost see the ghosts ‘simmering’, ‘poured’ and ‘reflected in the blade of the knife’. I like the idea of ‘their stories fed by seasoning’ – maybe that’s why some people throw salt over their shoulders when they spill it! The final lines are eerie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim. People do leave their essences. I don’t know the origin of the salt over the shoulder, but it was passed down to me from my grandmother and I always do it myself! I like your association.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All of my family gatherings feature noisy ghosts! This reminded me of a couple of lines from a poem Garrison Keillor used to read called “Meatballs”. These are those lines:
    Eyes close and hands are folded as Grandpa says the grace.
    Mine alone are open, I look in every face.
    I see your lovely faces, together on this day, passing into darkness, the voices fade away.
    I close my eyes to hold you, to bring you back to me, passing, slowly passing into a memory.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A repast like no other! Such a vivid description with words and image of how time in not linear, but multi-dimensional where parallel world can intersect. “Ages compressed into moments in time.” Food for thought. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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