Daily Archives: October 29, 2008

Bitter Tastes of Twigs We Chewed

It’s Food Poetry Wednesday, folks!

Sorry for no Tuesday Trivia, but it’s been one of those weeks around the office. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this oldie-but-goodie from Woodie Guthrie (yes, Woodie Guthrie!) called “Remember the Mountain Bed.”

While not traditionally a “food poem,” I love the imagery that Guthrie uses here, so vivid that you can smell the forest and taste the twigs he describes.

Remember the Mountain Bed

Do you still sing of the mountain bed we made of limbs and leaves:
Do you still sigh there near the sky where the holly berry bleeds:
You laughed as I covered you over with leaves, face, breast, hips and thighs.
You smiled when I said the leaves were just the color of your eyes.

Rosin smells and turpentine smells from eucalyptus and pine
Bitter tastes of twigs we chewed where tangled woodvines twine
Trees held us in on all four sides so thick we could not see
I could not see any wrong in you, and you saw none in me.

Your arm was brown against the ground, your cheeks part of the sky.
As your fingers played with grassy moss, and limber you did lie:
Your stomach moved beneath your shirt and your knees were in the air
Your feet played games with mountain roots, as you lay thinking there.

Below us the trees grew clumps of trees, raised families of trees, and they
As proud as we tossed their heads in the wind and flung good seeds away:
The sun was hot and the sun was bright down in the valley below
Where people starved and hungry for life so empty come and go.

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