Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Richard Wilbur Award-winning Book: Preview 3


Here's one from the "light" section. This poem was a finalist for last year's Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and will be published soon in Measure.



Olēka

Olēka: The awareness of how few days are memorable.
— from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig


My double-decker spice rack glares at me.
In its glass eyes of marjoram and mace,
of fennel, cumin, saffron, savory
and coriander, I am a disgrace
to cookery. And if, at times, I'll toss
some basil and oregano to test
the limits of a bland spaghetti sauce,
tarragon and chive are not impressed.
So, as the cream of tartar gathers dust
and dill weed fades to a diminished gray,
my days and months and years fly—as they must—
without a chocolate cardamom soufflé.
No one to blame, no one to hold at fault,
I take this poison with a grain of salt.

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