Stuff before stuffing

A short break from the cooking frenzy in my kitchen to complain and give thanks.


My complaint is with food manufacturers.  Every year more food items seem to be downsized.  What was 16 oz. is now 14 oz.  Besides feeling irritated at having to pay more for less, I’m wondering what’s going to happen to all the old recipes.  Do the makers of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing even realize that they’re messing with “edible archeology”?  (Edible archeology is what novelist J.L. Carr calls meals made from recipes handed down generation to generation.)


Moving on to gratitude, a poem:



by W.S. Merwin



with the night falling we are saying thank you

we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings

we are running out of the glass rooms

with our mouths full of food to look at the sky

and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it

smiling by the windows looking out

in our directions


back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging

after funerals we are saying thank you

after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you


over telephones we are saying thank you

in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door

and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you

in the banks we are saying thank you

in the faces of the officials and the rich

and of all who will never change

we go on saying thank you thank you


with the animals dying around us

our lost feelings we are saying thank you

with the forests falling faster than the minutes

of our lives we are saying thank you

with the words going out like cells of a brain

with the cities growing over us

we are saying thank you faster and faster

with nobody listening we are saying thank you

we are saying thank you and waving

dark though it is



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!



  1. Rum Brother Kevin

    To me poetry is one of those things that follows through my life occasioaly reminding me of something, but I rarely understand it’s role. I’m left wondering if this is one of those times. I came up though the Catholic school system, taught by nuns fresh off the boat from Ireland and only slightly concelaing a worship of poetry. To this day I can look at something and it will trigger a line, a stanza, some clip of a poem always told in Sister Mary Somebody’s brogue. Not suprisingly it’s usually Yeats.
    So, the snow’s falling. The food smeels fill th house. Yeats is tripping through my head as I surf and I see the elf and flash to his brother sitting on the shelf a few feet from me. The internal soundtrack begins ” ..For he comes, the human child, to the waters and the wild with a faery, hand in hand, from a world more full of weeping than he can unerstand” He’s the survivor of a set my Mother brought out every Christmas. Year by year one after the other would break and last year she gave me the lone survivor with a sarcastic joke and a reminder of them being a tangible piece of my imagination. So being in a poetry mood and seeing the elf seemed like one of those times poetry was trying to reconnect.

  2. poemelf

    What a great story! I think those lines are from The Stolen Child….which I just looked up after reading your comment. The haunting last line of each stanza is “for the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand” which the faeries say to the child to convince him to run off with them.

    All that poetry in your head…a treasure house….we should all be so lucky.

    I almost want to send you one of my elves, but won’t because they were a gift from my daughter when I started this blog.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

Leave a Reply