Pink ballerina

This poem is for my beloved niece, the only person I can think of, who gardens in a tutu. I adore the way she has begun to thread together complex sentences, now that she is three.

Pink ballerina

I found some impressive Macramé creations (photos further down) at a store and thought to inveigle this art into the poem somehow. It adds to my terminology of thread crafts that I have tried to use in my poetry. It must be a highly meditative effort for those that knot yarn or twine into an elaborate aesthetic.

Enjoy the poem and thank you for reading.

Earth sought succour in root and in the arrival of a pink ballerina / a shortcrust* of yearning crumbled in mud, awaiting that sandy renunciation / to be scooped and patted like loam clay into a concrete planter / This little girl is awash in the business of making mud pies or earth flan / and are they not nursery rhymes she gurgles at the English weather / darkened, of thunderous portent, yet its stiff upper lip quivering in a slow rumble// 

She loops time into a Larks head for Macramé / and in the tapestry of minutes spent sifting sand, moulding clay / they work their way into square knots and clove hitches, those ringing voices of rain clouds that traipsed within hearing / while she was alone at play, when dipping a promise of pink roses into the soil, trying to pot seasons into place//

She is transfixed by the tones of these Aeolian charms / frightfully delighted that they resonate in a symphonic choral with her /singing of mirthful gnomes, of winged fairies, scurrying field mice, musical robins, thieving magpies, startled bolts of lightening / and perhaps of love being the sameness of loam found in every forest throbbing with root reaching root//

Yet the burgeoning crescendo lacks timbre of the flowers that have not yet bloomed on the sameness of leaf / that are a blur of mystery plants awash in green / There, in this leafy overwhelm, she bellows a tantrum across the Atlantic that I can hear / for she is a fledgling gardener and what use is taxonomy in mud play//

She gurgles rhymes to placate the thunder / to outshine the sun / and finds the lexicon is of limited skein, a finitude of hues in the spectrum / even as the legionnaires of weather rush to patent the syllables of love's petrichor, consonants of battling clouds, vowels of weeping skies / selfsame synonyms ricocheting in unison//

She is unafraid to rhyme in synchrony for the notes disperse in a swollen rain cloud showering poems / In this garden, she can be the sweetest thing for she invents love, as she pirouettes around rose bushes, clematis and tulips / with a soil scoop in one hand, a wand in the other, to ensure it is indeed magic she does//

Process and form:

I worked from a photo that’s been edited to a painted style, so this should count as a narrative and Ekphrastic exercise perhaps.

Macramé knots mentioned in the poem [1]:

In Macramé, a lark’s head knot is used to attach a cord or thread to something .

A square knot is one of the most widely used Macramé knots and it can be created as left facing or right facing. Square knots need to have at least 4 cords (2 working cords and 2 filler cords) but can have more.

A Clove Hitch, also called a Double Half Hitch, creates lines in a Macramé projects. They can be worked horizontally, diagonally, and on occasion, vertically.


[1]How to Macramé: 7 Basic Knots to Master~

*I am compelled to add this shortcrust pastry recipe inspired by David Lebovitz. He has happy anecdotes to share of baking in France and his recipes are simply elegant

For the tart dough 
6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 85g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 cup (140g) flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Make the tart dough by mixing the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low-to-medium speed, until combined, about 1 minute. (But do not whip.) Add the egg yolk and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Mix in the flour and salt on low speed, until the dough comes together. If necessary, add a sprinkle of water if the dough feels too dry. Don't overmix it. (I often stop the mixer before the dough is done and mix it by hand, to avoid overmixing.)

French Apple Tart (Tarte normande)~

In defiance of a maxim ~ One man’s food is another man’s food

I was at a loss for words today, ( Have I exhausted them already ?) and couldn’t quite come up with a poem so I went through my picture gallery to create something like a prose poem for the South Indian thali that we enjoyed at brunch a couple of weeks ago. (This afternoon though, was spent at an Italian Easter brunch where the server addressed me as ”Signora” and that made me giggle. I mean, how sweet and quaint !) Happy Easter too !

The South Indian restaurant from weeks ago had displayed this wonderful floral Rangoli ; pretty in a brass bowl
A South Indian Thali, there’s an art to preparing and eating this platter of vegetarian food




You know the old adage … one man’s food is another man’s … but this plate comes full circle like time in a lazy Susan that you may turn anticlockwise or minutes ahead as you take in grains of soft cooked rice or wheat rolled into round moons, in turn with a lentil broth, drumsticks chopped to sound a liquid , fragrant in leaves of curry. Yes, there’s a tree with those exact leaves in leaflets and it grows in my mother’s garden. The gravy runs thick in coconut that was high up a tree some time ago, now milled on a grindstone of effort. Some of the offerings are meant to lull the palate, others to provoke excitement, like a fanciful life, pickled in lime and raging in the spices of Kerala. I think it is a Raga they play in notes of cumin, coriander, mustard, fenugreek and fennel, seeded in the double reed of a Nathaswaram, the sound bouncing around painting a canvas in taste. The senses are a kaleidoscope of colour, then some sour curds to settle your stomach, like a blanket for the gut lest it mutiny. There is no conflict in bitter, astringent, pungent, salty, there’s no umami but hey, it’s not Japan. Then finally the sweet seduction of a milk pudding, like life.




Definitions: ( All sourced online from Wikipedia and they pretty much sum up what the terms mean)

Nathaswaram, is a double reed wind instrument from South India . It is used as a traditional classical instrument in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. This instrument is “among the world’s loudest non-brass acoustic instruments”. It is a wind instrument partially similar to the North Indian shehnai but much longer, with a hardwood body and a large flaring bell made of wood or metal.

A raga or raag is a melodic framework for improvisation akin to a melodic mode in Indian classical music.The rāga is a unique and central feature of the classical Indian music tradition, and as a result has no direct translation to concepts in classical European music. Each rāga is an array of melodic structures with musical motifs, considered in the Indian tradition to have the ability to “colour the mind” and affect the emotions of the audience.

[[ I like the the song Mamavatu by Susheela Raman. This Carnatic composition is of Mysore Vasudevachar, known in the original as Mamavatu Sri Saraswati which is set in Raga Hindolam to pay homage to Goddess Saraswati. It’s an initiation into the more traditional Carnatic music. I listen to a lot of Raga purely for the sound. I do not understand the language nor lyrics of the same unless it is in Hindustani classical from the North ]]

The curry tree (Murraya koenigii) is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae (the rue family, which includes rue, citrus, and satinwood), and is native to Asia. The plant is also sometimes called sweet neem, though M. koenigii is in a different family to neem, Azadirachta indica, which is in the related family Meliaceae.

Thali (meaning “plate”) or Bhojanam (meaning “full meals) is a round platter used to serve food in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Thali is also used to refer to an Indian-style meal made up of a selection of various dishes which are served on a platter.

Rangoli is an art form originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or a tabletop using materials such as powdered lime stone, dry rice flour, coloured sand, quartz powder, flower petals, and coloured rocks.