Two years ago my friend (and poet) Dennis Kirschbaum opened my eyes to Poem in Your Pocket Day (His piece “The Useless Machine” is brilliant). Dennis was kind enough to give me a poem about coffee to have that day, which I have kept with me since then (I confess to making a note once on the back of the folded paper).
This year I invited friends who know and love poetry to share a favorite poem with me in anticipation of Poem in Your Pocket Day. I’ll be posting their choices here.
I’m beginning with Dennis and a poem he wrote.
Blessing for Coffee
Dennis M Kirschbaum
Make the sun shine on leaves and let their roots
drink rain. Strengthen arms and backs to pick
the cherries and wash away flesh to reveal seeds.
Steady ships on the inscrutable sea carrying them
green and raw in burlap to arrive in New York,
L.A. and where the Mississippi empties.
Give wisdom to the roaster bringing heat,
revealing character neither pallid grass nor
so burnt that the surface bleeds pungent oil.
Guide the barista’s tattooed hands as he grinds
fourteen perfect grams into the yawning mouth
of his portafilter and fits it to the group head,
an offering of gifts at the stainless altar. Hold fast
the laws of physics, scramble electrons, build heat,
pressure, force steam through puck into ceramic.
Grant through fortune and the labor of my hands,
spare custom to bestow for this crema capped,
dark measure. Now, while this brain is becalmed
in haze, help me recall the miracles that delivered this
to my lips and let me be worthy of it as it fills me.
Dennis M. Kirschbaum grew up in Baltimore. He has a B.A. in English from Guilford College and an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from Baltimore Hebrew University. He is an Associate Vice President at Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and an Adirondack 46er, having climbed to the summit of the highest mountains in New York State. His chapbook, Clattering East is available from Finishing Line Press and on Amazon. He lives and writes in Washington Grove, Md.
addition: Dennis is also featured at Author Amok today.