half a world on a trencher


Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love’s
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree’s planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

~ Pablo Neruda

Without this fruit my kitchen feels empty.

And you, dear reader, have you a special fruit of creation that wells to your touch and perfumes your kitchen?


6 thoughts on “half a world on a trencher

  1. koejawels – aan die prut in pot – vir koejawelkonfyt – herinner my aan ouma-hulle se plaas
    pere – in port, kaneelstok, steranys, suurlemoenskil –hemels

  2. oh, dear sonja….you will love to know that when this popped into my email, i could only read the first few lines, and i was certain you’d written them. only in clicking over to the actual post did i realize maestro neruda was leading the symphony here. oh, i could study his language, his art, all day…..a magic fruit for me, not perfuming really, but beholding its splendor in beauty, in taste, is the pomegranate, that belly of garnet-toned gems…..do you have south africa way? i pop them like magic from their tight-held suspensions, and scatter liberally over clementines and pineapple chunks. they are such beauty to behold. you have a lemon tree out your door? oh you are blessed….xoxoxo

    • writing … pablo neruda ….i’ll have to work very hard (and i know i can take many lessons from you…)…. pomegranate…granaat in my mother tongue – a soft g and long second syllable aa…
      …my childhood favourite: my grandparents had a tree – many a breaking open of the hard skin, the dripping of the red juice all over my hands….your words a reminder…

      ….and this childhood memory led to the planting of a pomegranate tree in our yard….still small, but for the first time, flowering this year…. tomorrow i’ll go and give it some special attention…i’ve been neglecting it…

      ….and nowadays such a terribly expensive fruit in our parts of the wood…city…

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