Just another Medical Humanities Blog

Poems for August 2012

Posted by mcdoc on August 20, 2012

Brian McMichael
(1961 – )

Ode to the Peach

You are called by your color
yet by summer
you become sun-tinted
taking on to yourself
the prerogative of the redhead
and on the inside too –
the deeper you go the redder you get
intensifying to the color of blood

My soft, fuzzy love
you fill my hand
with your yielding
rounded density
you invite me with
your voluptuous curves
your feminine little cleft

Your succulent sweetness
evokes in me the desire to
delve into you
to eat you
to eat you until your juice
runs down my chin
I will not want to stop
once I start

Even when I sink my teeth
into your luscious flesh
you make only the sound
of a heart between two beats
tasting nearly like nothing
delicate, fragrant, with a hint of sharpness

In the late summer
You become most indiscreet
your overripenesses
fall to the ground
becoming oozy, squishy masses
like dung –
stinking and attracting flies
then I can’t stand you

Even into the autumn
You are inescapable
your slices unexpectedly
peek at me
from my bowl of milk
you cruelly snuggle
into my ice cream
and usurp every dessert –
shamelessly splayed
atop the tarts, the cobblers
the pies for all to see

Oh, Fruit of the Deep South
alone, in the dark winter
I break down
tormented by
your one solid defect
that when I had finally
arrived at your core
I found your hard, little brain
where your heart should have been

“Ode to the Peach” by Brian McMichael. © Brian McMichael, 2005.

Denise Levertov
(1923 – 1997)


Brilliant, this day—a young virtuoso of a day.
Morning shadows cut by sharpest scissors,
deft hands. And every prodigy of green—
whether it’s ferns or lichen or needles
or impatient points of bud on spindly bushes—
greener than ever before.
And the way the conifers
hold new cones to the light for blessing,
a festive rite, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
transcribes for them!
A day that shines in the cold
like a first-prize brass band swinging along the street
of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
with the claims of reasonable gloom.

“Celebration” by Denise Levertov, from This Great Unknowing. © New Directions Publishing, 1999.


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