Song of Plums

(One of a series of pastiches of other poems to the plot of William Carlos William’s Plums)

I sleep, but my tongue craveth:
it is the scent of my beloveds that tempteth, saying,
Open to us, our eater, our vore,
our predator, our hungry one:
for our skins are covered with frost
and our stones with the chill of the icebox.

I have put off my bathrobe;
how shall I put it on?
I have brushed my teeth;
how shall I defile them?

My beloveds wafted their scent past the holes of my nostrils,
and my tongue was moistened for them.

I rose up to open to my beloveds;
and my hands dripped with juice,
and my fingers with sweet sticky juice
upon the handle of the icebox.

I opened to my beloveds;
but my beloveds had withdrawn themselves and were gone:
my soul failed when I smelled them:
I sought them, but I could not find them;
I sniffed the air, but smelled them not.

The roommate that goes about the flat found me,
He shrugged at me, he denied all knowledge;
The sharer of the icebox took away my plums from me.

I charge you, O lovers of Damsons,
if ye find my beloveds, that ye tell them,
that I am sick of hunger.

Originally posted on Making Light

The stone-fruits of Gondolin

The morning dawned clear and bright, and Gandalf rose early to walk along the terraces and slopes above the loud-flowing Bruinen. The rising sun shone pale and wan through the silver mist, and the webs of the spiders glistened among the trees. On a small bench beside the path he came upon Elrond, who rose to greet him.

“Fine is the morning and fortunate the meeting, O Mithrandir! Long have I sat here contemplating the paths that lie before us, and now find myself in need of sustenance. I have in my cool-rooms a hoard of stone-fruits from Gondolin, which I would gladly share with you.”

“Many years has it been,” replied Gandalf, “since I have tasted the stone-fruits of Gondolin. They grow now but sparsely among the fallen stones of that once fair city.”

Elrond rose and led the way to his cool-rooms, which stood in a shadowed corner of the Last Homely House, sheltered from the sunlight by the high walls of the building around them. There he kept many foods from all over Middle-Earth, cooled by great blocks of ice carried down from the Misty mountains.

The thick stone door of the cool-rooms stood ajar. Elrond and Gandalf entered to find Pippin seated on a wooden chest, wiping his mouth with his handkerchief. Beside him lay a small pile of fruit-stones, the last traces of golden flesh still clinging to them.

“Hullo, Gandalf! Hullo, Elrond! I just popped in here for a little something to eat. It’s a long time yet to breakfast, and waiting is hungry work, as my gaffer always says.”

Elrond stood still within the doorway, but Gandalf strode forward. “Gluttonous fool of a Took! You have eaten the stone-fruits of Gondolin, which we had preserved in the cool-room for our breakfast!”

“Forgive me,” cried the hobbit, cringing before the wizard’s wrath. “They were so sweet and so cold that I could hardly resist them!”

Originally posted on Making Light