NaPoWriMo 2023- Day 17 – An ode to the good, old coconut

Today’s resource is a pair of online reading series. If you’re looking for a regular poetry fix you can enjoy from the comfort of your laptop, why not try the Poets in Pajamas series, which hosts readings every month? Poet and professor Jordan Stempleman also hosts a monthly reading which you can attend online (and you can also access archived videos of past readings). Just click here, and then on “A Common Sense Reading Series” at the top of the page.

And now, for our daily (optional) prompt! Begin by reading Sayuri Ayers’ poem “In the Season of Pink Ladies.” A pretty common piece of writing advice is that poets should know, and use, the precise names for things. Don’t say flower when you can say daisy. Don’t say bird when you mean a hawk. Today’s challenge asks you to write a poem that contains the name of a specific variety of edible plant – preferably one that grows in your area. (That said, if you’re lacking inspiration, online seed catalogs provide a treasure trove of unusual and charming names for vegetables, fruits and flowers. Here’s one to get you started.) In the poem, try to make a specific comparison between some aspect of the plant’s lifespan and your own – or the life of someone close to you. Also, include at least one repeating phrase.

Tender, sweet coconut

Tender, sweet coconut
what is there not to love about you?
As an offering to God, you're revered by all
and broken in half, you are a symbol
of auspiciousness.
Your hard shell, used to make eco-friendly cutlery,
your drink, freshly fermented, makes good Toddy
and when not so fresh, gives one a kick
and can make one  sick.

Tender, sweet coconut
there's nothing about you that I don't love-
the tall, slim trunk of your tree
behind which we hid when we were kids
and tied hammocks on which we lay 
in the noon, for hours on holiday 
or your palm fronds which we stared at
swaying in the night breeze
until we were asleep.

The sweet memories you bring back of the past
of grandma and how she used your husk to clean dishes
when scotch bite didn't exist
and how your green outer covering, she dried in the sun
and fired in place of wood to warm
water in the cauldron 
when there were no geysers. 
How your oil, Grandma used to massage our hair and body
and squeezed out milk to make her signature chicken gravy.

Tender, sweet coconut
how can one be as useful as you?
Your water, cool and refreshing
has quenched many a thirsty soul
and your soft white pulp, 
full of goodness has satisfied many a hungry man.
Fresh or dry, hot or cold
it doesn't matter
you make every dish taste so much better.

Sweet, sweet coconut
You're the epitome of  what each man should be like
You set a fine example
What is there not to love about you?

9 responses to “NaPoWriMo 2023- Day 17 – An ode to the good, old coconut”

  1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    Hi Smitha, some lovely memories of your grandmother here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hi Robbie, Thank you💕…you never know where a prompt takes you. This brought Grandma’s memories flooding back 🙂.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rajkkhoja Avatar

    Nice you sharing on coconut test recommend in the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you. I’m glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rajkkhoja Avatar

        Thanks lot 😊!


  3. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

    I heard it said that man could survive on coconut alone. You certainly make it sound so. Alas, my amore doesn’t like the taste…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      I think it’s possible to survive on a coconut- food, drink and you can even oil and scrub yourself with it, in its various forms😃. How sad that he doesn’t like the taste. I had no idea it was available in Italy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Manja Maksimovič Avatar

        Oh, Smitha, even though it probably is available in Italy – as mostly everything in our globalised world – I have never ever tasted a fresh coconut. Here coconut flour is common, to put in desserts. This is what amore doesn’t approve of. You can also buy canned coconut water (and milk, I assume). Never tasted that either.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Oh,I had no idea that coconut flour was used in Italian deserts. I know the canned water just doesn’t taste the same. My children are buying it in tetrapaks in Australia and they say it’s just as good. I’m sure it can’t be. Canned milk is pretty good for cooking S.E.Asian cuisine and Indian food. If only you visited,I would show you around🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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