Exceptional Food - Poem by Naveed Akram
The meal was over as I spoke,
Innards kept the blessing of cooking;
My spoken tongue was inert
As prayers were repeated.
My religion was of fasting
And not cooking or banquets.
It was my religion that mattered,
Like the oval office and similar places
Of comedy, the very seriousness,
The very proud deeds of the soul,
And those that mattered
To the food or taste we take with the day.
Now that dinner was over,
I was over, and this deed was over.
I lifted my fork to speak wonders
That astonished everybody’s taste,
Like the lunch of the noon
And dinner of the light of the night.
The dance began, as we were happy,
To dance was to be finality,
Jostling inwards with exceptional flavour
That was also ingested with the food -
This was food with spiritual music!
Our lives were ending right now.
Then the offer of a peace arrived,
As the music stopped and arrived
Yet halted in its path to see innocence
In the efforts of a speaker
Who intimidated us as we saw him,
The man of exceptional taste, the owner of this place.
Such deeds he spoke and such plates he gave,
Dishes supported his biggest way of talking,
Conversations surrounded his meaning,
So the party was special like the breeze,
The breeze of words that we felt on our cheeks,
As our ears were pricked with awe.
“This is the day we dine and the night we clasp,
Finding no sacred other place than this grand mansion.”
This he spoke to us with meaning,
And he wanted to see what we enjoyed
And some of us wanted more noise,
So the music began after the speech.
This night was extraordinary for the talents,
The food inspired me as I floated,
This morbid thought arrived afterwards -
What if the night should end
And leave us forever in the night?
Then there would be no merriment or taste.
I laughed as we sat in the carriage
That came by to pick us up;
We were rich, as a rich couple,
As a wealthy lad and lass,
Like the fountains of stupid colours
And fragrances, so bitter yet elegant.
I was thankful the night finished
With dignified manners and perfect noise,
Songs could never bring more joy
Than this enjoyment we experienced,
The joy of musical words,
The joys of a beautiful party.
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