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Light Verse: Poems about Food:

Just a Trifle Ruffled

(Riff from a script by Truffaut?)

Up to the broad buffet I bellied
To nosh baked brie, strawberry jellied,
To toothpick meatballs and sip booze
And munch mixed nuts -- mainly cashews,
And when I'd had more than enough,
I sought desserts with which to stuff
Myself -- found, foil-wrapped on a plate
Rich chocolate truffles fit to sate
My raging sweet-tooth. Near them rose
A peak of rum-soaked cake whose snows
And clouds were whipped cream swirls -- "A trifle"
Said hostess. "Quaint," I thought, "How hifal-
Lootin'," as there popped from my foil
A truffle -- PLOP! -- into the trifle...

No one's watching! Quick! I rifle
For my truffle through the trifle!
Of whipped cream I've got a cuff-full --
All this trouble for a truffle!
Of shrimp and nuts I'd had a trough-full;
What curse made me unpeel a truffle?

This awful trifle's tall as Eiffel!
Where IS that damned...? My cries I stifle,
All my grunts and curses muffle
As I rifle for my truffle
Through the trifle, woeful, rueful --
Well I know how just one goof'll
Ruin one's reputation...FOUND IT!
Napkins, quick! That damaged mound! It
Won't be noticed, scoop a knife-full...
Here's the hostess. "Scrumptious trifle!"
I stand smiling and unruffled,
My plate trifle-heaped and truffled.

Here's the moral: Do not waffle
When you've slipped up something awful.
'Tis no trifle when you rifle
For a truffle in a trifle.
Once you've bitten off your craw-full,
CHEW! Don't ask, "Will this be lawful?"
Who would rifle trifle tough'll
Have to be to find a truffle.

Who dares rifle, why his life'll
Find all trouble but a trifle.

Bad Breading

Why do those Ayatollahs want us dead?
It's rage at mass-produced American Pita.
Hear what stone-throwing mobs chant in the street: "Ah
DAMN the torpid doughs, false pita bread!!!"

Queasy Cuisine

When the Cross meets the Crescent,
It is often unpleasant.
Then throw in the Israelis --
More blood for the Dailies.

As things come to a boil,
Why not pour on the oil?
In the light of that blaze
Some discover new ways
(Through their friends in the Bureaus)
To make dollars and euros.

Each must pledge to a side,
Allah? God? Suicide?
Fight for Mecca or Rood?
My solution is FOOD:

I combine Cross and Crescent --
In "Croissant" both are present;
I'm off chocolate, but carob
Is sweeter than Arab.
For rich cream gourmands praise,
I hear Kurds have their ways,
And their cooks can sure cook --
That's the word from Kirkuk!
Can't we chase off the Huns
With some fresh hot-cross buns?

But we're just savage Yanks,
So we'll likely give thanks
With that Moslem dish, turkey;
We'll be feeling quite perky,
Still well fed and still living!
So Hooray for Thanksgiving!

Just Say Yes

Whenever we go out to eat,
My wife and I (our favorite treat),
The greeter smiles and queries, "Two?"
And we smile back and never do
De Niro menacing his mirror
With "I don't see anyone else here,
Do you?" Nor do we try for pathos:
"Nay, Sir, we are seven." Math is
Not the point, but getting seated
In a well-lit, smoke-free region,
So I don't say, "We are legion,"
Just "Yes." Then they know what we need:
A place -- for to it us they lead,
And, truly, how fortuitous! --
For two it is; for, to wit: us!


The waitress asks, "A party of one?"
Some party.
But I, to make the evening fun,
Eat hearty.
I'm not good company for me,
But unbowed,
Eat two desserts and try to be
A crowd.

Lo Carb (Paul and Mary Without Pita)

Where have all the flours gone?
Fled from Atkins, everyone.

Stop the Mucous!

Cholesterol clogs up the heart and aorta.
Eat less food and healthier - that's what I orta.

Awesome Aush!

[To my favorite soup – from Afghanistan]

There is no soup like aush,
By Gawsh!
It's the jewel
of Kabewel!

One bowl is a whole meal --
Such a deal!
No mere nosh
Is osh.

What could be more culinarily gauche
Than never to have tasted auche?
But a mean half-man, I,
When deprived of the crown of cuisine Afgani!

Avgolemono? Mulligatawny? Borscht! Oh BOSH!
I want my osh!
I'm full of boulanee, not baloney,
When I say that "aush" that tastes like minestrone is phony!

May you spend all your winters in Oshkosh or be consigned
to all the demons in Hieronymus Bosch
If you serve such limp-noodled tangless stuff and call it osch!
What! No fresh cilantro? Home-made yoghurt? Noodles made
on the premises?!
You phony aush-huckster! May you be visited by Nemesis!

I'd give my 21-jeweled bulova wautch
For one bowl of da autch
Or French-kiss (ouch!) Caliban
Or moon the Taliban!

Not whole, but half man I stand
Without the sour hot heartsblood of Afghanistan.
You can print it in big letters, paint it in oil or gouache --
Or carve it on my grave: Here Lies One Who Loved His Ouache.

Sake? 'S OK!

It's one of those precautionary stories:
He craved an omelet; they served only sushi.
A trifle tipsy, he asked, "Sushy? Who'sh she?"
Too many nips! O Tempura! Ah Nori's!

[Note: Japanese Tempura and Nori (seaweed) pun the old Latin lament, Ah Tempora, Ah Mores -- Oh the times, the morals!]

So Sioux Me

Eating custard, Stanley Laurel
Learned too late, don't eat and quarrel,
For he choked when Hardy blustered...
That, alas, was Stan's last custard.

Fast Food

The vapid
Trade sapid
For rapid.

Why The House Cat Doesn't Hunt

Mice is nice,
But tuna is soona!


The high is nice, but then beware -
The lift without the liver is bare.

[Note: Refers to James Russell Lowell's line, "The gift without the giver is bare."]

My Support Group

The chair holds my bottom,
The floor bears my feet,
The table my elbows --
Is not that a neat
Division of labor!
(My hands prop my head.)
I NEED all these bearers --
I'm VERY well-fed!

Immortal Words

Socrates is a man
And all men are mortal --
If you doubt a pint can
Amend this, a quart'll.


That pie was swell!
I ate too much
(Oh, just a touch) --
Please HUSH! Don't tell!
Oh darn -- you're such
A tattletale,
You stupid scale!

See -- Just a Hole, Nothing Up My Sleeve

The body is mainly a long winding tube
That is open at both of its ends;
What's poured in at the top should come out at the bottom
Immediately, but it tends
To suspend, by strange magic, and some of it never
Comes out, turns to bone, muscle, fat,
Which sticks, despite all our most earnest endeavor --
How DOES the magician do that?

Exercise to Diet For

What Pritkin bans, Doc Atkins will allow.
A thousand gurus clamor to tell "How...".
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou
Give me both diet and exercise enow.

The Lo-Down

Most women I know
Get fat on their hips,
For their sauces and dips
Aren't Hi-fat, but Lo.

Song of Experiment

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,
Wouldst burn gently, basted right?
Or should I set the flames on low
To keep your meat from crackling so?

'Twas all Ingest

Mercutio overate -
Such gassy digesting!
What if -- Oh ghastly fate --
Alas, he die jesting?

Ice Crime

Their ice cream is yours for the askin'
Unless you'd prefer Robbin' Baskin.

Alas, Poor Drum Stick...

Yesterday the cock of the walk;
Today the coq of the wok.


I eat dessert again and again;
The scale reveals a gain and a gain.

Favorite Deits

Do Hari Krishnas
Have hearty knishes
While Jews for Jesus
Choose chewy cheeses?

Quinn For A Dais

When gravy spills and a stain spreads that most foul is,
To tabletop leaps a roll of paper towels
(Our sponsor's of course) to dance with toes a-tapping,
And sop up all the gravy, fingers snapping!
"Who is that?" asks a diner of his niece.
"Why don't you know? That's Absorba The Grease!"

[Note: Quinn is Anthony Quinn, who played Zorba in "Zorba the Greek", and who, in that role (not roll) danced on table tops as energetically as rolls of paper towels in commercials.]

Nash-Noshing the Cheeses

Though gouda
is good, a
Is beddar,
Yet edam?...
I'll eat 'em
All -- wait a
Pass the brie.

Replete With Gleet, I Bleet

Today I discovered gleet.
It's been right here in my lexicon all these years, but I didn't seet.
Gleet: formerly any morbid discharge from the body (including feet?)
(And to the Scots, slimy matter,ooze -- Neat!),
Now a chronic mucous discharge from the Urethra in Gonorrhea
And maybe from other tribes in neighboring nations, another
reason why condoms are good forrhea.
Also, a "chronic discharge from the nasal cavities of horses, etc."
(I wonder what is etc. to the nasal cavities of horses? Shall we discuss it long after we've the soups and white-saurces et and especially the tapioca courses? Let's!)
Also a verb: To gleet.
Gleetings, my fellow poets, and salivatations wherever we may meet,
But not just before we eat.

One Fetus to Another:

Grow old along with me;
The breast is yet to be!


This brownie is delicious.
It rekindles my sense of purpose.
Sometimes one forgets, scarfing down
Mouthful after mouthful of tasteless
Glop, the ritual second and third
Helpings, the just-a-little-more of
Bland desserts, getting fat becomes
A ritual, a duty, and watching
One's body acquire new creases
And overhangs, one's breath shortening,
Clothes binding between the bulges,
One almost asks, "Why? Why must I
Get fat?" Yes, one is inclined
To drop the whole thing. And then
Something wonderful comes along, like
This moist, velvety, dark-chocolatey
Implosion of opulence round the tongue,
To remind one of what it's all for,
Renew one's determination, justify
The self-sacrifice (for it is not
An easy thing to get fat) and make it
All worthwhile.

Last updated: January 7, 2006