Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ode to the Watermelon.




I'm always eager to try something different; this time it's Proper Poetry, In other words, I've been creative and added a few 'thees' and 'thous' to this account, to make myself a bit Keatish or Wordsworthian!


ODE TO THE WATERMELON

Oh succulent watermelon, meanderer that thou art!
Watery world-wanderer, ye of the drip-juiced heart!
Born on the plains of Africa, destined to us beguile,
Ravishing with thy richness and thy slices of pink smile!
Oh wondrous watermelon, with mysterous genesis!
Staining the chins of dark-skinned boys with moist and merry bliss.
*
Thine was a hidden history till Livingstone espied
Flauntings of fragrant fleshiness the River Nile beside.
Citrullus vulgaris rampantly revealed
Growing wild and wonderful in profusion, field on field!
A valiant, vibrant vegetable masquerading as a fruit
Bounding o'er the landscape with leaf and twining shoot.
*
The Explorer stood and marvelled at the feast before his eyes!
Rotund and ripe and ravishing in thy green and glorious guise!
Now was revealed the ancestor of a gift that, from the first,
Had nurtured all pre-history and slaked the ancient thirst.
From Arabia to India wast thou held in high esteem,
As nature's great munificence, refreshing as a stream.
*
You sustained the desert travellers as across the dunes they marched;
Succour to faint and famished; panacea to the parched.
In Russia revellers rejoiced in wine made from thy flesh
And thy reputation was enhanced from Bombay to Bangladesh.
How many weary travellers have paused to give thee thanks,
Beneath the trees , upon the hills or on the river banks?
*
But thy journeyings were not over, thy meanderings not done;
Thy conquest of America had only just begun!
Father Marquet, in Mississippi, declared thy flesh divine
And the Indian tribes were grateful for refreshment such as thine.
And, down the ages, year on year, mankind has owed a debt
To the wondrous watermelon that brings us comfort yet.
*
But what is this? This travesty? This modern machination?
This gilding of a perfect lily, sad abomination?
Can it be true thy glorious globes have lost their noble shape?
That, in Japan, technology has wreaked a wicked jape?
Fie upon their bunsen burners and twisted tweaking ways!
Fie upon the scientists and each creative craze!
*
Angular as boxes thy fruits lie row on row,
The ones above identical to those that lie below.
Thy taste, they tell us, is the same, thy qualities unmarred!
'Round' they say 'Was awkward and packing was too hard!'
Like childrens' blocks they store and stack the harvest on the shelves.
Surely they must mourn the loss of rotund shapes themselves!
*
No! They think not of thy portions, once lovingly contemplated!
They think not of the happy smiles by thy 'smiles' recreated!
They think not of thy bounty and the mouth of the dark-skinned boy;
Teeth and seeds united in an arc of the purest joy.
Watermelon! Cease thy progress! Retain thy ancient worth!
As a redolent reminder of the richness of the earth

18 comments:

Margaret Gosden said...

Definitely a Dyonesian orgy on many levels - you have outdone Keats in length and breadth! Bravo.

Word Tosser said...

square watermelons? that is just not right. on so many level's

Have you ever cut a melon from end to end, and then slice it... does it not look like a smile? Now they will look like a robot smile.

So far they have not got to our area... thank goodness... what is next, square eggs?

Darlene said...

You poem is not only a good one, but a history lesson in the evolution of the watermelon. I will appreciate that melon even more after reading your poem.

jay said...

Oh, a travesty indeed! Square watermelons? WRONG!!

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

That was great info packed in those dynaminc lines. I never knew that the watermelon originated in Africa. Happily been biting my way through those succulent chunks without realising that.

But that travesty of the watermelon for the packers' convenience I have seen and abhorred. Can man improve on nature!

Great writing, Brenda, as usual

Brian Miller said...

i will never look at a watermelon the same. nicely said.

Kat said...

I think it sounded more Shellyish.
from the bombshell dropped about boxy watermelons :)))

the poem sounded pretty official, with thhees and thous - like the ones my English teacher would sternly ask to recite..!!!!

Loved word tosser's comment - square eggs..!!!!

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Love the imagery!

Shraddha@theselfloveproject said...

what a great poem and info..

lovely..

Loch Rob said...

A history lesson and great poem all in one. The hints of brevity make it all the better. Now, if they could only get rid of those pesky seeds too. :)

SandyCarlson said...

That was lots of fun and very creative.

Maggie said...

I will accept square watermelons the day I see people walking around with square hears...ain`t gonna happen.

This was a well written piece and taught me a bit about the history of a favorite fruit of mine.

Amity Me said...

Hi Branda;

How great thou art in this poem...
Thine thoughts was as rich and as luscious as that of the watermelon
From beginning to end, thou has held my interest!

I like it so much Brenda!

Have a nice day...please visit me too!

:)

Jim said...

Brenda, this one is a pleasant surprise! I like the odes, yours is neat. Mine will take a little more study first.

I do like the hybrids for the reason is that they don't have seeds. Some have better taste in my estimation.

Charlie Chaplin is not the fellow we were trying to think of, this one is more contemporary.
John Fogerty of the Creedence Clearwater Revival is 64 with an 8-year old daughter but it wasn't him either.
Thanks for your nice guess.
..

Tumblewords: said...

I haven't seen one in my store but my first thought when I heard of them was, 'Creative, indeed. Now it won't roll off the table and smash itself to bits.' But, I could be wrong, again. :) Your poem is terrific, as always.

gabrielle said...

Round is never awkward as it leads us back to the beginning. Well done!

Tammie Lee said...

Brenda,
You are incredibly talented with this style! I completely enjoyed reading this!

Inay said...

yup... perfectly done...
what ever the scientist is doing on the nature...
playing God...

i hope nature won't be greedy for them..

God bless