Tag Archive | Poetry

A Legume By Any Other Name…OR…Poe’s Adventures With Beans…

Thoughtful Readers… 
 
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
(…..”Tis some memory” I muttered “tapping fully at mind’s door;
Only this and nothing more.”…..)

(…..Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak November,
As I tried that eve to tender, words to paper, sow the seed,
Here I sit now almost sleeping, softly silently composing,
Intent upon the task before me lest my eyes should fail to heed,
The silent nature of the passage, here for all to see and read;
Only this and nothing more…..) 
 
While in the midst of this most stately of Edgar Allan’s works my mind wandered off to the kitchen and to a subject close to my heart—food. Having a small get-together to attend in a few days, I was trapped in a plethora of ideas about what food dish I would throw together for everyone’s pleasure. Examining my pantry produced little in the way of answers….largely because there was little in the way of contents. Picking up a lonely can of green beans, which happened to be on a shelf right next to a lonely can of chick peas, I started down memory lane intent on arriving at a perfectly acceptable solution. But like so many ventures of this kind, I quickly lost focus on the task at hand, turning instead to random thoughts of Poe and blogging. (How those two thoughts intertwine, I have NO idea!!…).

In any event, my stroll through memories almost forgotten led me to thinking about legumes and how many varieties were in stock at my local grocery. After about five minutes of intense introspection I had arrived at a list that I was fairly certain could be documented easily.

Here’s your challenge…..While sitting in front of your computer (like me..!), make a list of all the different varieties of legumes (okay, lets make it just beans..) you can think of that are in stock at YOUR local grocery…Remember, beans only..(that means no garden peas, or snow peas, or sugar snaps, or lentils..). Please don’t force me to try to describe the differences between beans and peas. It has something to do with hollow stems vs. solid stems and tendrils on leaves, etc., etc. I can’t begin to recite the taxonomy involved and never will…because I just don’t care.!!! For this exercise….fresh beans, canned beans, dry beans, frozen beans….doesn’t matter. Oh, one other thing. I said varieties of beans. That means BBQ Beans, or Pork and Beans, or Baked Beans, or Chili Beans don’t count…..

Okay then, Ready, Set, Go…………..You still here.?? Come on get busy.!! Shouldn’t take more than two or three minutes to write them down. No peeking at my list either.!!

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List finished.?? I would guess that you should have no problem coming up with seven or eight different beans, maybe more. Vegans or Vegetarians could probably come up with at least twice that many.

This is my list the way I wrote them down along with my thoughts as I was working:

Green Beans (various cuts and styles)
Wax Beans (variation on green bean..??)
Kidney Beans (at least two variations–dark red, light..)
Pinto Beans
Black Beans
Cannellini Beans
Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) (These could be peas, not beans..??)
Navy Beans
Great Northern Beans
Lima Beans
Butter Beans (Related to Lima Beans, but different..??)
Fava Beans
Soy Beans (Edamame) (pea vs. bean..?)
Mung Beans
Cranberry Beans
Black Eyed Peas (really a bean..?? not like a garden pea)
Field Peas (really a bean, like black eyes..??)
Crowder Peas (bean..??) (I think Crowder Peas and Field Peas are essentially the same bean..)

How did you do?? I feel certain that some of you have varieties in your market that I don’t have…and some of you have a lot more varieties than I do. That’s okay. This isn’t about winning or losing..!! And it isn’t about right or wrong, or how good your memory is….or whether you wrote down a pea instead of a bean for that matter. It is about thinking outside of the bean box. There are a tremendous number of bean varieties available to us….and most of us have not tried a lot of them. I was surprised at how many different varieties I found in my local area and how many more I did not find. My list is not an exhaustive one by any means. Looking around the Internet there are dozens of varieties out there that are not available to me where I live.

I can see the questions coming now. “What were you thinking??” Me?? I was thinking that if I did this, maybe you should too.. “Why was this exercise important??” Ah, that IS the question!! And the subject of my next post…..

Be well,

Howard

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Poetry–Under-appreciated Works #2

Thoughtful Readers…

This is the second in a series of works that I deem somewhat “under-appreciated.”

As I noted in the first poetry post, I ocasionally stumble upon (and read..) a work about which I know nothing. I try to uncover its roots but fail. It is essentially a “lost work.” Usually (and in fact always in this blog…), these works are unknown. That is to say the author is unknown. Usually the date of the work is unknown as well. These works have existed for some time and because someone, somewhere wrote them down, they still exist.

One other thing to note. Please understand, that these works are not mine. I did not control the author’s writing, or their use of words and terminology. That is a nice way to say that I am not responsible for the political correctness (or lack thereof…) of the words or thoughts as expressed in these works. It is not my intent to cause any consternation among the readers here, or to imply any form of prejudice or bias based on nationality, politics, creed, race, religion or anything else you would care to assign to it. This is the way the authors wrote them….and hence the way they appear here.

If you read these works and recognize them, good for you. You are ahead of me. I did not. My only purpose here is to keep some of these obscure works from fading into the great abyss.

This work is short. The message it conveys is clear!!  Once again, author unknown.
   
 

JUDGED BY THE COMPANY ONE KEEPS 
 

One night in late October,
When I was far from sober,
Returning with my load with manly pride,
My feet began to stutter,
So I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came near and lay down by my side;
A lady passing by was heard to say:
“You can tell a man who boozes,
By the company he chooses,”
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

Unknown

 
 
As always, comments welcome.

Be well,
Howard

Poetry—Under-appreciated Works…

Thoughtful Readers…

I have said several times on these pages that I do not write much poetry. That does not mean that I do not like poetry. Nor does it mean that I can not appreciate poetic works for the value they add to society. The fact is, I read a lot of poetry. On occasion, while reading some sort of literature, I stumble upon a work that I have never before seen or heard. I try to look it up, and find precious little about it or a lot of supposition that creates only additional questions. It is essentially a “lost” work. Usually (and in fact always in this blog…), these works are unknown. That is to say the author is unknown. Usually the date of the work is unknown as well. These works have existed for some time and because someone, somewhere wrote them down, they still exist.

One other thing to note. Please understand, that these works are not mine. I did not control the author’s writing, or their use of words and terminology. That is a nice way to say that I am not responsible for the political correctness (or lack thereof…) of the words or thoughts as expressed in these works. It is not my intent to cause any consternation among the readers here, or to imply any form of prejudice or bias based on nationality, politics, creed, race, religion or anything else you would care to assign to it. This is the way the authors wrote them….and hence the way they appear here.

If you read these works and recognize them, good for you. You are ahead of me. I did not. My only purpose here is to keep some of these obscure works from fading into the great abyss.

This first work is one I found some years back and wrote it down. There seems to be some disagreement about when and where it came from, and there are several versions of it. Once again, author unknown.  
 

HELL IN TEXAS  
 
The Devil, we’re told, in hell was chained,  
And a thousand years he there remained,  
And he never complained, nor did he groan,  
But determined to start a hell of his own  
Where he could torment the souls of men  
Without being chained to a prison pen.  
 
So he asked the Lord if He had on hand  
Anything left when He made the land.  
The Lord said, “Yes, I had plenty on hand,  
But I left it down on the Rio Grande.  
The fact is, old boy, the stuff is so poor,  
I don’t think you could use it in hell any more.”  
 
But the devil went down to look at the truck,  
And said if it came as a gift, he was stuck;  
For after examining it careful and well  
He concluded the place was too dry for hell.  
So in order to get it off His hands  
God promised the devil to water the lands.  
 
For He had some water, or rather some dregs,  
A regular cathartic that smelled like bad eggs.  
Hence the deal was closed and the deed was given,  
And the Lord went back to His place in Heaven.  
And the devil said, “I have all that is needed  
To make a good hell,” and thus he succeeded.  
 
He began to thorns on all the trees,  
And he mixed the sand with millions of fleas.  
He scattered tarantulas along all the roads,  
Put thorns on the cacti and horns on the toads;  
He lengthened the horns of the Texas steers  
And put an addition on jack rabbits’ ears.  
 
He put little devils in the broncho steed  
And poisoned the feet of the centipede.  
The rattlesnake bites you, the scorpion stings,  
The mosquito delights you by buzzing his wings.  
The sand burrs prevail, so do the ants,  
And those that sit down need half soles on their pants.  
 
The devil then said that throughout the land  
He’d manage to keep up the devil’s own brand,  
And all would be mavericks unless they bore  
The marks of scratches and bites by the score.  
The heat in the summer is a hundred and ten,  
Too hot for the devil and too hot for men.  
 
The wild boar roams through the black chaparral,  
It’s a hell of a place he has for a hell;  
The red pepper grows by the bank of the brook,  
The Mexicans use it in all that they cook.  
Just dine with one once and then you will shout,  
“I’ve a hell on the inside as well as without.”  
 
 

Unknown…

 
 
As always, comments welcome.
 
Be well,
Howard