I live in Fairfield, Connecticut with my wife and try to write a little poetry when not visiting my children in Boston, Philadelphia and California. I teach special education and English at Joel Barlow High School. I've had poems in The Southern Review, Rattle, Cortland Review and elsewhere. www.jackpowers13.com/poetry/
The poets have been mysteriously silent
on the subject of cheese
But what of the little white feta
shipped from the Aegean to my door,
chunked with sliced tomato and cucumber?
What does he care for history or governing?
Does he look in the night sky
and see a round and mottled cousin?
Does he look at my fork and say, Why?
A meal without cheese
is like a beautiful woman
with only one eye
-Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
As the salad plates are cleared, I dream
of Brie, Camembert, a pungent Morbier,
but she leans close and we kiss.
Her tongue thrusts, her teeth press
with the passion of a one-eyed
mademoiselle. She's wearing a monocle,
blue eye winking, milky neck
and shadowed clavicle glowing,
under the August moon.
We part. I sigh, ready now
for a vanilla crème brulèe,
a crêpes Suzette, a savory pear tart with –
unkind, I know, but we are in Auvergne –
just a sliver of Fourme d'Ambert.
A cheese may disappoint.
It may be dull, it may be naïve,
Yet it remains, cheese,
milk’s leap toward immortality
Oh, Egyptian cheese,
buried in your pharaoh's tomb,
do you dream of udders?
How can one be expected to govern
a nation with 246 kinds of cheese?
-General Charles De Gaulle
The Armée de Terre
is not cow and sheep and goat in constant ruckus.
The Armée de Terre
is one uniformed line marching in step,
armoured divisions striking foe's weakness as one.
In government you must incite the hards and sharps
to rally the softs and milds behind you just like
the Armée de Terre.
What happens to the hole
when the cheese is gone?
That rubbery face, those
soulless eyes are gone too,
gaze returned to the milk, the cow,
the muddy field, the scruffed-up rock,
the wall – anywhere
unpressed and uncurdled
free of lifeless rind.
©2016 Jack Powers
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF