Silin-Palmer, Pamela

United States, (contemporary)

Ode To A Swine
Convenire cum omni ente

  1. Envoi
  2.  
  3. What pig could himself deny
  4. A gently seasoned porky pie?
  5. The glistening splay of roasted snout
  6. The parslied porcine forefoot:
  7. Removed from life, from fat, from flesh
  8. Impartial blade made mince, mince, mince,
  9. Spread out among the crusts to taste
  10. Baked to melt, and melting licked…
  11. The silenced throat, the twining tail
  12.  
  13. 1
  14. Pig, I can no longer recall
  15. Why I move in this silent circle
  16. Toward incurious tomorrow
  17. From feast to truffled feast
  18. Lurching bellyfuls of lunch:
  19. From cottled prune
  20. To cuddled egg
  21. To fishy creamed and poached,
  22. Moving toward the unknown skewer
  23. Roasting unknown roasts.
  24. Pig pie never tastes the same
  25. In winter rain, in summer sun;
  26. Winter passed me yesterday
  27. Yet winter is to come.
  28. Memory marches backward
  29. Space flows out the door
  30. The mirror face is winking back
  31. At the face before;
  32. How we try to hang in time
  33. Stop the rhythm and the rhyme
  34. But the circle rolls us on
  35. Until we roll no more.
  36.  
  37. 2
  38. Pig, I rutted in prideful youth once,
  39. Pink and squirming
  40. I frolicked in mud and straw
  41. And knew the joys of trough.
  42. Yet I’m tired of my chewing jaw,
  43. The dark damp tongue, the eager teeth:
  44. I eat to live and live to die,
  45. So worm eats man and man eats pie
  46. While all the piggies wonder why
  47. They supplement the feast:
  48. An ancient tale of pig and sprout,
  49. The porky pudding, the appled snout
  50. (The apple you so liked to taste
  51. Now flavors you with prunish grace);
  52. What dimpled immortality
  53. Your fruited flesh becomes in me.
  54.  
  55. 3
  56. The pig parade is passing by
  57. Throatless spectres, eyeless eyes;
  58. Gravied growls from swinish jowls
  59. Assault me from my pie…
  60. Shall I hide my pork in honey?
  61. Or disguise with salty soy?
  62. Still you’d catch me gnawing on the
  63. brawny bones of boar
  64. As the everguileless lines of pig
  65. Prance through the butcher’s door.
  66.  
  67. 4
  68. Pig, we’re both roly-poly
  69. Till sliced down by time’s blind butcher:
  70. Dismembered utterances ripple distance
  71. As these present time-wound words
  72. Like glistening pig-fat melt away.
  73. You did not know if,
  74. Unaware of subtler aspects
  75. Of your posture, walk, and talk,
  76. I overlooked your inbred woes
  77. Your persistent gaze from tottering toes,
  78. The plodding mule ploughing rows
  79. The fleet formicae to and fro
  80. Vain, vain in your consistencies…
  81.  
  82. 5
  83. But pig, Aha!
  84. Should you become grey for my brain
  85. Grub for my tum,
  86. Or should you simply stop and die
  87. Cease to sense, discharge from life,
  88. Feed first the raven, then the worm
  89. Metamorph to fecund soil
  90. Explode in silver fern,
  91. Then I would recall
  92. Your smallish tusk
  93. Your sixteen nipples so evenly placed
  94. Your ripe sow-dappled scent of musk
  95. Your steaming haunch
  96. Your appled face?
  97. Or would my portly pig-fed soul
  98. Be sucked through space from sound and light
  99. Where pig and poet glide together,
  100. Soundless through the night?

© Pamela Silin-Palmer. Used with permission.
The Love Poems of Honniker Winkley. Berkeley: Lancaster-Miller Publishers, 1978.

About the Poet

Pamela Silin-Palmer, US illustrator, muralist, furniture designer and poet who works of the San Francisco Bay area. See her current work at: www.pamelasilinpalmer.com/. [DES-6/03]

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A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.