I love my nightly cup of tea, and it seems fitting to finish out National Poetry Writing Month with the same ritual I finish my day with. I can’t talk about tea without mention of Halifax’s Phil “Tea” Holmans. The proprietor of the World Tea House, Phil has a passion for tea that is unparalleled, and has just returned from travelling through Sri Lanka and India on his continuing tea journey. Find him on Facebook here.
Thank you all for reading along!
Water bubbles to a rolling boil
Pour slowly over leaves in pot
Steeping, familiar fragrance
filling air, filling cup
cradled in both hands
Warmth seeping through
When Mom made homemade bread, as many Newfoundlanders did, there was always a bit of leftover dough that would be rolled into little buns and fried in butter. These tasty treats are called toutons, tiffens, or damper dogs, depending on what part of the province you’re from.
pillowy soft bun
outwardly browned, split sideways
slathered in butter
Inspiration for tonight’s verse comes from what’s on tv: Stage 1 of cycling’s Tour de Romandie. The Tour de Romandie is a six-stage race, passing through the French-speaking cantons of Switzerland, a country not exactly lacking in food culture. Cheese and chocolate, it’s all about the cheese and chocolate. I could go on for days about chocolate, so in the interest of limiting the babble (too late right?) it’s gonna be cheese–fondue, to be exact.
Mon Dieu! Fondue
Quivering fondue forks, laden with
Rustic peasant bread cubes sit poised
On the ceramic pot rim
Hurry up, and
The Newfoundland Dog community is a small one, and the loss of a dog is felt throughout; such was the case this week as the Newf world learned of a shining star taken too soon. Rico was not my dog, and yet I knew him; as evidenced by the outpouring of love and sympathy from around the world, it’s clear a lot of folks feel that way. He was not our dog, and yet he was.
We know when we bring home a puppy that if things go as they should, we’ll be saying not just hello but goodbye. That’s the price we pay for their lifetime of love and joy; it doesn’t make it any easier knowing this, but still time does heal until we’re ready to welcome another beloved companion into our hearts.
This is for anyone who’s loved and lost an animal friend. We’ve all been there, and we will go there again, such are the rewards of opening our lives up to such companionship.
Ode to a Newfoundland Dog
His massive head is laid to rest
His massive heart, stilled, in his chest
And like his forebears gone before
Not just a dog, but so much more
With easy reach and steady grace
He held his standard’s pride of place
With soft expression, soulful eyes
Faithful til his dying day
He broke the last command to ‘stay’
Called away, like those before
Not just a dog, but so much more
RIP MBIS BISS GrChEx/Am Ch You Make My Dreams del Basaburua DD CD RN CGN “Rico”
Photo Credit: JCPD Photograpy
Puppy Jack picks a beef bone clean
We feed our dogs a raw diet, and often laugh when we compare our bowls to theirs, because we put more thought into ensuring they have a healthy, varied diet while not being as worried over ours.
Ground game with bone
Tonight, they enjoyed local lamb necks, free range eggs and wild salmon while I had cookies and ice cream (hey, I have the flu, okay?).
Grain fed, hormone free
Best plates in the kitchen are
Going to the dogs
Fleur enjoys a smoked pig’s snout
I’m a pretty easy guest to wait on in a restaurant; sure, there are a few triggers that might set me off, remnants from my food critic days (warm bread with cold butter, e.g.) but overall, I will favour the folks who work the restaurant and be quite understanding if, say, it’s busy and the meal is taking a very long time (more remnants, this from my cooking days).
One thing I’ve noticed of late that’s becoming quite common is for the server to take every single dish or piece of cutlery off the table as it’s emptied. So, rather than wait for everyone to finish a course, they’ll snatch up one plate and come back later for the second. Or take away one glass. You know what that is? ANNOYING. Not only do I feel rushed, but the repeated interruptions as the server reaches in for fork, plate, glass, another fork, knife, cup, plate and so on is irritating and intrusive.
I’d love to hear how you feel about this!
In the meantime, here’s my NaPoWriMo entry for today, in the style of Dr. Suess.
Please do not remove that plate
I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to wait
Until we finished what we ate
And enjoyed our dinner date
Please do not remove my cup
Suppose I want to top it up?
Linger over while I sup?
Why must you always interrupt?
Please do not make us feel bad
When we feel rushed it makes us sad
You should make sure that we feel glad
And we’ll make sure your tip we pad!