Lucky Dip (save with taster)

On being a poet

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(for Yevgeny Yevtuschenko)

Not all of us can pick and choose
what comes up to be transposed
into words worth all the effort
of being creatively composed.

I’m reminded of the cook
on Cousteau’s famous ‘Calypso’
faced with a glut of baby squid
rising from the deep to grow.

He served them every way he
could think of from his repertoire
until the ship’s crew mutinied
and made him in his galley cower.

We don’t always know what will appear
as material to start
the process to rework the world
with our culinary art.

Whether a banquet or a stir-fry,
a stew, dessert, or snack,
we chop and mix ingredients
and hope diners will come back.

rs 3.4.17

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