28 January 2014

Hand to Mouth

When I write poems, hunger bears down on me;
Nibbling fingernails and ginger snaps barely
Satisfies cravings too cranky for soup.

Scoff down each spicy fragment, kiss-nip each
finger,  smile that two years have passed since hand
to mouth thinking required lit cigarettes.

Longing.  Constantly.  Tiredness and Sleep-
lessness make me eat.  At times tea fills holes
left by sorrow, grief, despair and longing.

I try a snack of cheese and pears, feeling
powerlessness in the face of neediness.
Food is essential to revolution.

Come to my house for fuel, I want to say
then fear I won’t be able to divide
loaves and fishes adequately.  So don’t.

At all.  I attend another prayer
meeting, listen to my stomach growl and
wonder what I am waiting for.  But wait.

Hands on knees, I sit in silent worship
in a circle of friends where I don’t speak
my longings.  I brought ginger snaps and tea.

Back home, I write a poem while hunger bears
down on me.  I bear down on the pen and
ready new birth, a rebirth beyond words.

Posted for my prompt at Poets United: Midweek Motif ~ Hunger which will be up around 2am Eastern Time.

Copyright © 2014 by S.L.Chast


Mary said...

Oh yes, Susan, I did FEEL the hunger in this poem. Good thing I don't have any 'sweet treats' handy. Smiles. I do think sometimes a person craves something and fills that hunger with food. You expressed that well in your fourth stanza. Thinking about the last stanza, I find it hard to write a poem if I am hungry...unless, that is, if I promise myself a reward (of food) when I am done.

Stormcat Poetry said...

I hate it when my stomach growls during the sacrament. How can I concentrate with that distraction. All I can think about is the Burger King around the corner selling 2/$5 sandwiches. Guess where I go right after srevices . . .

Laurie Kolp said...

I agree... who wants soup when you can have ginger snaps and tea? Congrats on the two-years without smoking. I'm sure my mother wishes she had never started back up (she quit for 8 years).

kalpana solsi said...

I can feel your hunger in this poem. A snack of cheese is so inviting.

Jae Rose said...

Writing is a hand to mouth affair..you never know if it will come back again..if it will taste the same or fill you up..there are probably less satisfying things to crave though..(PS would like to include a Poets United link on my posts - any advice on how I can do it please? thanks)

Gabriella said...

We definitely cannot focus as well when we are hungry, or thirsty for that matter. But I think that what makes me most hungry is the cold!

Unknown said...

So many great phrases... fingernails and gingersnaps... kiss-nip... bear down on pen... you bring the reality of writing to life in this one, Susan.

kaykuala said...

Whatever the nibbles it can be anything just so the growls are kept to the minimum or none. At this age and time eating tends to be confined to diet considerations prompted by medical restrictions. Plainly eating is just so to match clean living with guarded amount and restricted choices. T-Bone steak among others is 'sinful' Wonderful write Susan!


Sherry Blue Sky said...

"At times tea fills holes
left by sorrow, grief, despair and longing" You nailed it. What a terrific poem about that inner hunger that all the food in the world cant fill. I, and my extra pounds, can attest to that! Great prompt and wonderful writing, Susan..

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


Amazing how trying to satisfy our writing, or thinking can be impacted by a bodily craving at times....Tea is at least a comfort for me!!!


Unknown said...

Hunger is a primal thing...the lines are reflecting the necessity wonderfully..

Brian Miller said...

i wonder at why you dont feel comfortable sharing your hunger among those you gather to worship with.
feeling powerless in the neediness...i have def felt that...and it can cause us not to do what we can,
but what then? the feeling we cant divide the loaves and fishes right...we have to fight that....

alan1704 said...

Hunger and God, food and Fasting, bread and wine. This is really all in the heart and the soul. I love the way the spiritual and the flesh meet. Very nicely done and very thought provoking

Susie Clevenger said...

Our pens growl as we nibble on the alphabet trying to find the right words...Love your poem

Bing Yap said...

“rebirth beyond words”… such fulfillment when we finish creating. brilliant piece. :)

humbird said...

I'm thinking the 'hand to mouth' reflex we all have from the birth day...~ It feels for being creative we need the multi dimensional sensations...so we craving....I read sometimes we need just to change position (sitting/standing) in the space...maybe even upside down, - to shake all the letters sticking? at the bottom of our body....lol ~ wonderful poem ~ I use apples, oranges...(nuts - too much calories) - something to bite :>)

Unknown said...

Some powerful writing here Susan- I think the intensity of you images here speak to the hunger more than any literal explanation could ..

"Nibbling fingernails and ginger snaps barely
Satisfies cravings too cranky for soup."

"smile that two years have passed since hand
to mouth thinking required lit cigarettes."

Ummm ... wow

Scarlet said...

Congrats on that milestone ~ When I'm writing, I don't feel the hunger pangs ~ I am all for sharing the words with others, if the longing is great ~ The biblical take on loaves & fishes is food for thought but there's always more for those who want more ~