No Recipe

Christmas Miscellany 2010

Gerry Galvin was born in Drumcollogher, Co Limerick in 1942 and now lives in Oughterard, Co Galway. He is a chef and former restauranteur at the renowned Drimcong restaurant, and is the author of two cookbooks, The Drimcong Food Affair and Everyday Gourmet. He is a columnist for Organic Matters magazine. His poetry and short stories have been published widely in newspapers and magazines in both the UK and Ireland. This poem is from his latest collection No Recipe (Doíre Press, €12 ).

No Recipe

No recipe can gauge the mood of cheese

breathing in the morning,

smelling of the cream it loved

before separation.

Cooking calls for calm,

a measuring of do's and dont's,

the stir and spice of

disparate ingredients,

provenance and season,

what goes with what.

I recall our mushroom hunt:

scarlet hood, edible and good,

blushing between us.

I sang of chanterelles, horn of plenty,

your flared mouth busily silent –

l'amour aux champignons.

Undressing onions

I was a voyeur, eyes salivating.

Afterwards of apples flush from sun,

a loving windfall short and sweet.

Embittered autumn opened our slow sores,

your footprints on potato drills

immeasurably subversive

waiting to spring.

Jarred anger preserved,

I settled into winter,

feasted on Christmas goose,

faced New Year's cold turkey

and January, game for anything.

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