Monthly Archives: January 2017

in the midst of chaos

in the midst of chaos,
i gather you like flowers,
vibrant inside the grip
of my hand and i begin
to recollect hope… how
the warmth from the sun
feels on my face and as
i turn from sleep and
in the morning rise
with all my flaws and
defeat— all my loss
strangely weighing more
than any victory.

and i don’t want
to win you or coerce
you to be a prize
i never deserved
in the first place,
because our destiny
is more than a sack
race on a green lawn,
with bystanders on
the sidelines inciting
the direction of our
path when we ourselves
have not mapped the way
into each other’s hearts.
the course of our veins
blends too well against
our bashful dispositions,
(mistaken for indifference);
we thread along unliking,
tucking away desire under
our eyes and drawing our
feelings closed like curtains.

and so i escape from behind
the heavy brocade and run
to you… to read to you,
breathe every word which
inspires and expires from
me, to observe any reaction
you may solicit from your
own silence, the distance
you harbor in your eyes—
so much so i become eager
to take refuge inside
your deepest vision…
will you hear me out,
consider my most
sincere confession….

i love, not now nor
tomorrow, perhaps forever;
instead to bear you
fervently charged memories
if not a child (between
you and i, i know, shall be
our crisis); more than myself,
but to have you feel the
love of God through the
extension of your spirit,
as my spirit stands beside
in adoration, ushering you
up the stairway and together
we elevate, rise above the
moon into a zenith as we hold
each other in contemplation.

poem©mrg 3/4/16

We Are What We Need To Learn

“Often we don’t realize we are what we need to learn.” I wrote this on the comment portion for a poem I posted on Instagram. It was something clever, I thought. But what I didn’t realize, while I was writing it, was how much it would enlighten me now. If we ever doubted why it is we are a certain way, it is because we are exactly what we need to learn here on earth.

Certain days find me amidst reflection. I’m particularly curious about the idea of our soul/spirit living a million lifetimes– to return to earth over and over again, strive for purity in order to achieve ultimate enlightenment. It’s a tall order and yet if this is the process which all of us mortals go through, why is it we complain so much about the misery?

I’m not saying I have it bad. No, at best I’ve been really blessed. I’m surrounded by love and joy on a daily basis and I wouldn’t exchange either of those for anything. And there’s a chance that is exactly the kind of life I asked for because there may be a chance so much sadness was endured from the last life. The obstacles I’ve been given, the kinds of fear I’ve been bequeathed with were exactly what I asked to learn and overcome. Except I forgot. I forgot weaknesses weren’t set, but entities I must embark and improve upon. I forgot my own insecurities were merely what separated me from the bunch and made me that much more unique.

Which brings me to the idea of acceptance. I know I am an embodiment of both positive and negative, of confidence and diffidence, of good and bad. Often, I berate myself too much for the things I am not. What I am not now, perhaps, there is reason. And I don’t want to question it anymore nor do I want to place myself in doubt. Because what I accept today is that I am still a student when it comes to life and I’ve got to keep it humble if I want to learn more about what it needs to teach me. I am what I need to learn… this is what the universe is showing me today. My response to the universe… well, I’m going to try and master me for a change (how about them apples!!!).

what i cannot be
is exactly me
a blessing within
disguised as my own sin…
i stopped rains
and raised the sun
all at once, but
never conceived
myself so powerful
as when i felt the
light of Royalty
reflected upon me,
eternally— so i
can diffuse it all
unto thee

poem©mrg 1/30/17

i cannot begin to think

i cannot begin to think
of anything if i don’t
first think of you, the
safety which surrounds
you and the joy which
cradles your heart…
a smile that hangs on
your face. i cannot think
of anything else if i don’t
first dwell on you

poem©mrg 12/11/16

Note: I love how, at times, the intent for poetry becomes dual; it becomes both poetry and prayer.

A Revival Through Jerusalem, A Cookbook

There’s a desire to begin from the beginning. To start all over again. From scratch. Because everything has become so repetitive… from the salad making to the sandwiches, from assembling amenities to organizing cresscors. It feels like I’m waking up over and over again to the same scene and realizing now how trapped I am in its mundane choreography where I neither learn to dance nor learn how to leap above it. In short, I’ve got the Garde Manger blues. The tedium, except for the occasional bursts of laughter (when the Chef isn’t looking), seems to place me in my own private Groundhog Day, desperately wishing I at least had Bill Murray to suffer through the ennui. And at the end of it, when I’ve learned my true lesson and the universe decides to reel me back to ordinary days, I’ll have mastered Beethoven and Chopin on the piano. I’ll be able to comprehend and recite all of Octavio Paz’s poems… in Spanish. And because Bill Murray did practice the art of ice sculpting, I suppose one may be able to find me by the water somewhere causing a stir with my amazing sand sculptures (since we don’t have snow)….

Tall order, I know. However, all I can really wish for is one brilliant spark to set off a domino effect which will allow me to revive the same passion I had when I began this journey into food. Whatever it takes, so long as it would yank me, pull at me as heavy as gravity. Because I’ve been fleeting and I know I need to be grounded.

So to break this cycle of passionless repetition, I perused through the cook’s library at work and tried to make a connection with a book which may set me off on the right path. Left and right, right and left my eyes looked, but found none. But there, among the pile of un-shelved books, I uncovered Jerusalem, A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Talk about wanting to start from the beginning, this book attempts to briefly explain the history of Jerusalem, the evolution of its food dating back to the time of King David or even further, with different cultures, different groups of people influencing and contributing to its cuisine.

The cookbook provides abundance. One can extract many ideas from this book regarding ingredients that normally don’t take certain stage. The contrast of hummus with fried lamb on top, sweet potatoes with figs drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar… the kind that’s thick and sweet, one can pour over ice cream thick… oh my God, this is precious! The use of a ton of parsley with barley as a salad… so simple, and it stumps me now I didn’t even think of it in the first place. Amazing! The photographs in Jerusalem are so vibrant, it is beginning to stir something in me. Inspire even! If it means to revive just one spark, these recipes, particularly the section on vegetables where it all begins, will definitely do the job of reviving. Who knows… on the third day, I may even be resurrected. Eh, I’ll give it a week!!!

apples don’t need oranges

apples don’t need oranges
in the same bowl
even if they get along,
what are the chances
i may be more an
orange can commit,
if only you were more
than an apple i was
tempted with; would
you not come frolic
in the same bowl and
have you be ripened so
easily with my ethylene?
and if this is too pervasive,
might you not want to
come and unrind me,
call it even at the
end of the day? for
some say a kiss from
an apple is delightful.
won’t you with an orange
find it quite refreshing?

poem©mrg 5/19/16