(for Kathleen)

A new upwelling
overwhelms the raft of foam, darker red this time
this land is being made and re-made
seeded corpses in the swell,
slide off wither skins, empty of all good fruit.

a ha-penny of jam for the workers
chewing on hard bread
at factory benches
keeps their spirits up
as the light quits the high windows
quiver the taste of childhood’s summers
and sticky days

bubbles mesh as sugar gels
rivers become chasms become plains
subducted to come round again —
here’s Io and Venus,
& the mid-Atlantic ridge
five miles down glowing in the dark

blob like some hacked up bit
as black as flesh, fruit
from an unknown interior
glistens on the teaspoon.

Image: Surface of Io from Galileo and Voyager missions, NASA c/- Wikimedia Commons.

For those who are jam-makers a short piece of domestic silliness (just finished a batch of strawberry and cardamom – always stressful).

And who else but The Jam with A Town Called Malice “… a hundred lonely housewives Clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry…”

May all your preserves set quickly and your jars be sterile and air-tight.

5 thoughts on “Jammin

  1. Delicious bit of poem-cookery. I’m putting up jars of tomato sauce, pressed through a food mill. Did the applesauce last month. Eating grapes straight off the vine – plump and sweet this year.


  2. Io and jam takes a whole leap of imagination but reading several times I can see and feel the bubbling connection (interesting too the addition of cardamon to strawberry)
    [up to minute too with Jupiter’s solar eclipse by IO]


  3. Your mind takes you on wondrous journeys, Peter, it is a pleasure to tag along. What you’ve seen in your jam, from humanity to exogeology, reminds me of how connected life on earth is. Perhaps, in the furthest reaches of the universe, some entirely different being, of which we can never know, is working on its own recipe for jam. I wonder what it tastes like. 😸


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