Sunday, 8 January 2017

Perfect Pace

Dear Reader,



                                                                        Jerusalem Artichokes 




There seems to be a bit of consternation among exotic vegetable lovers this week concerned about the disappearance of the Jerusalem artichoke.  Where have they all gone, they ask?  But it seems their fears are groundless, since I have now learnt that they still grow in numerous gardens and allotments. The Jerusalem artichoke was first cultivated by the native Americans long before the arrival of the Europeans, and this extensive cultivation obscures the exact native range of the species.  The French explorer, Samuel de Champlan, found domestically grown plants at Cape Cod in 1605.  He then brought the plant back with him to France, and by the mid-1600s the Jerusalem artichoke had become a very common vegetable for human consumption, in Europe and the Americas.  The French in particular were fond of the vegetable, which reached its peak popularity at the turn of the 19th century.

I saw a quote this week from an entry in Gerard's Herbal of 162l, which I thought I would share with you in case you didn't know some of the effects of eating these vegetables:

"Which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men".

So if you are thinking of eating Jerusalem artichokes, you have been warned.

                                                                        *

Perfect Pace

Orphaned, blind,
this small elephant,
cosy under kilim rug,
slowly follows the man's tapping stick
on their daily walk
through the bush.

They rest for a while.
The man shields
the small elephant
from the heat of the sun
with a big blue umbrella.
Unhurried they walk on.

Oh, what envy for this man,
slowly walking, quietly tapping,
sleeping in a stable with the small
blind elephant.
Each bound to each other,
with love.

                                                                     *

With best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this man and his elephant and the deep humanity in this poem.
With love. Xx