NaPoWriMo Day 18 – Gas, Food, Longing

“And now for our (optional) daily prompt! This one comes to us from Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s  table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature. Will you choose “the poem squash?” or perhaps “grocery weeping” or “the blue socks”? If none of the 60 rather wonderful chapter titles here inspire you, perhaps a chapter title from a favorite book would do? For example, the photo on my personal twitter account is a shot of a chapter title from a P.G. Wodehouse novel — the chapter title being “Sensational Occurrence at a Poetry Reading.”

I chose the title ‘ Gas, Food and Longing’ from the book ‘Poemcrazy’

I wake up at the break of day

a gnawing longing

to go back to the past

and plug the gaping holes.

My feet take me to the kitchen,

my hands turn on the stove

the flames leap like a tiger in the dark

I hurriedly turn down the flame and it gasps desperately for breath

Then turning it up a miniscule, I let the gas in

and place the skillet on –

a few drops of water I sprinkle, to test-

they shimmy and disappear into the air;

the pain too much to bear

It’s time- to make an offering of batter

Round and round, I spread it; meditatively as a seer

It hisses and sizzles, and turns a golden brown

sunny mornings, fields of mustard flowers and picnics

by the lake; I’m hungry for the past

Smell of burning fills the air –

the pancake’s burnt brown!

Without another thought I toss it in the bin.

Disquieting memories, stifling past, pricking pain, unsealing hurt-

If only I could do the same;

and begin all over again.

My gnawing hunger would satiate,

this longing to fix the past. All Rights Reserved.


9 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 18 – Gas, Food, Longing”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    There is a real sense of hunger here Smitha. What I love about your poems is the way you make poetry out of the domestic things and relate them to bigger emotions and themes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much Andrea for your warm words of appreciation💕. Your comment made my day. It makes all this writing worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marian Green Avatar
    Marian Green

    I love the shift in your poem. The golden brown dough associated with a happy longing for the past and then the burnt pancake which is thrown in the bin and is linked with disquieting memories and wanting to “fix” the past. It’s clever. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much Marian for reading the poem so closely and for your kind words of appreciation. Makes me want to read your comment again and again. It’s wonderful to have a reader read it the way you have. Thank you!


  3. Ananda Avatar

    Beautiful poem ❤️


  4. Dale Avatar

    Very much liked the the turn “the flames leap like a tiger in the dark” — clever image.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you kindly Dale for taking the time to read the poem and writing back. Am so glad you liked the imagery.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Deepa Gopal Avatar
    Deepa Gopal

    Love how you have played with the senses. The elements, the smell, the sounds, the aroma, the tingling sensations of food and longing, beautifully expressed Smitha. [fields of mustard flowers reminded me of DDLJ 🙂 ]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks so much Deepa for reading it so closely. It’s what a writer wants🙂.
      Ah…the mustard fields in DDLJ, I had forgotten about those but I absolutely loved the movie. Please don’t say you thought of me running amidst them like Kajol😀.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.


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