baking from scratch

We think more of ourselves
than things rolled from clay and spit should.

That sound that sparked galaxies,
seeded worlds, impersonal as fish
releasing roe into an indifferent ocean–
what of it?  Whether it was a bang or a shout
is irrelevant, unheard but for echoes
strung under matter in theory
and perhaps practice, though my ears
are not tuned to its vibration;

but the happening that drops apples onto grass
cushioned and unbruised in September
in a point choreographed, (un)planned and available
for my hands to lift and choose fruit so many measures of time
away from the creation of trees,
from the evolution of sugar cane and wheat
to the idea of fingers and opposable thumbs
and the use of fire,
the Cro Magnon who first tasted cassia;
all of it leads to this moment
of meeting, directed or spontaneous.

The miracle rests in knowing
to start from base,
to begin from breath
it takes millennia to make anything.

**Inspired by the Carl Sagan quote:
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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37 Responses to baking from scratch

  1. brandyeli says:

    Susan, i was instantly snagged by your opening lines of this poem. And you paved a pathway to a scientific truth at the end “it takes millennia to make anything.” This poem opens the universe! Awesome.

  2. yeoldefoole says:

    you’re tackling really interesting subject matter in your poetry these days – and handling it rather well I must say – although you do need to watch the density of your filling…

    • Good point! It took me many more words to say what Sagan said in a phrase. That quote has been bubbling away in my mind for a day, and this was the result.

      • yeoldefoole says:

        Susan – it’s so hard for me to keep from falling into my own Left Brain like an open drainage ditch! Here you’re working good imagery – keep it up, and don’t be afraid to take your time. (How many poems have I ruined because I wanted to get to the punch line?)

  3. jeglatter says:

    For me– this is gorgeous! Last night I scribbled last thing before going to bed “never stop making cookies.” So I giggled when I woke up and saw your title here. You are awesome Susan. 🙂 I may take time off from writing but that doesn’t matter cause I can always read you.:) -Jennifer

  4. j4n says:

    The Great Carl…the poor Cro

  5. love love love it

  6. ‘… it takes millennia to make anything.’ It does.

    This is an amazing poem ~ tone / rhythm / content ~ stunning.

  7. Miriam E. says:

    i am fascinated by the second stanza (the one after the two-liner)… a poem in itself. beautifully crafted!

  8. mobius faith says:

    I misread the title several times before I put on my reading glasses. At first it was busking from scratch which evolved into basking in scratch and then finally barking and scratch. But then I got the itch to put on my reading glasses and read further. (my mornings can be interesting before the first cup of tea.) 🙂
    Cool poem. Love the Sagan quote.

  9. Leo says:

    I’ve been away too long; this was lovely to come back to. well done! we seem to take our existence for granted and ignore the complexity, completely. think how much more harmonious the world would be if we all spent hours on our bellies studying ants or wildflowers….and eating apple pie. Leo

    • Leo–I agree completely. The Sagan quote simply blew me away–he condensed so much into that phrase, I had to write this. We are a compilation of events leading up to this very moment.

  10. Isn’t it interesting where our inspiration comes from whether a picture, a few words, another poem, book or quote. I enjoyed this very much and I am glad you were inspired.

  11. you write through and through with the breath of God! I love this!

  12. poetry meets evolution, and the pair take us on leisured but measured stroll to the narrrowing parallel lanes of science and religion to reflect on the beginning of the beginning! well done, Susan.

  13. Doug says:

    I enjoyed your recipe. Sometimes frying works better, or I go to the Writers’ supermarket when there’s things on sale at half price or two for one.
        Usually when I eat an apple, the seeds are never planted. The tree is not happy with me. It prefers the bear who eats it whole and plants the seeds later in a far off place. Making apple pie is worse because I must steal away the sugar cane… I wonder who fails to plant my seeds after I’ve created my universe from an itch.

  14. Beth Camp says:

    Only you could somehow link apple pie with all of human history. Yes, this adds another layer of complexity to what we take for granted. Yes, this is a wonderful poem! I will think of you the next time I’m rolling out a pie crust, Susan.

  15. dannypereyra says:

    Wonderful, from the first lines I was hooked.

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