Fancy a Riddle Poem? Here’s a sequence of them.

Batterie de Cuisine

I

Use me before you use anything.

Someone’s got to sort the good from bad.

Lumps in the sugar, grit in the lentils-

those are my tasks, I’m Cinderella.

I sift flour, create clouds of finery.

II

My hands hold plenty, weigh it up,

inform you of all its statistics.

Numerals are my gods, I adore them,

reel off their names in my own private litany.

I would like to speak my facts aloud.

Pointer or iron cakes, it’s all the same to me.

I know all, am confident with decisions,

my head teems with instructions.

III

I build with air to make castles of light,

an airy cage to lift your life.

Don’t think I’m an air-head –

I batter lumps, crash their privacy,

rescue the love life of sauces.

I’m your girl in shining armour.

IV

I came from a large and venerable family,

though not quite silver myself, I am stainless.

Some of us are royal, some religious,

we have our apostles, our servers,

runcibles are our literary sisters.

You scoop and measure with us,

we are the first implements your baby meets

and we are loved in palm or mouth.

                                     V

Sharp enough to cut myself, that’s me,

kept well honed, ready for action.

I cannot bear stickiness; keep me polished.

Honest smells cling lovingly, pungent onion-

I score and square its tingling moons.

How powerful I am, the Lord of the board.

I make mincemeat. Give me fingers, lives.

Feel the weight of me, serious,

my wooden handle snug inside your palm.

Use me well or I will turn on you.

This sequence appeared in my 1999 collection (Stride). Although it is officially out of print, I still have some copies here, from the publisher’s stock cupboard.

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Filed under poetry, Poetry Collections

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