Tag Archives: Joan Leotta

Hygge Feature #20 Shared Meals

Food tastes better when it’s eaten with friends. A shared supper, where people bring contributions, always seems to result in a groaning table laden with goodies. Dinner parties are decidedly NOT hygge, because they are too formal and set up to impress. Hygge meals are different. When extra chairs have to be brought from other rooms, when crockery is mismatched, when it’s all about the company and there’s lots of laughter, when the food is simple: that’s when a meal is hygge.


Photo by Joan Leotta

Around the Round Oak Table

Around the round oak table
Revolves our nightly show.
No matter how fast the daily grind
Over dinner, we take it slow.

No masks at this venue.
Entertainment for all.
Set the table,
Pour the water,
Serve the food
Let’s Eat!
Curtain’s up!

Equal billing to food and talk
Freely passed round the table

Pasta, salad, meat fill  plates as we
dish the day’s events,
hopes,  highs, lows.
a cacophony of topics–
Simpsons… Buffy…
Death penalty… test scores…
George Washington and golf!

By the time  plates are empty, hearts are full.
Long after the sweetness of dessert is a memory,
Words continue to be served up in hearty portions
Conversation’s everyone’s favorite course at the round oak table.

In Eliot’s rooms “ the women come and go
Talking of Michaelangleo”
Around the round oak table, love is spoken—loudly, and by all.

By Joan Leotta

Previously published: Fragrance, a British Journal , Spring 2014

Malawi Bling

Evening meal shared, sun bled beyond the horizon,
the stone threshold step draws you to the shuttered night.

One poor candle emits yellow light. The darkness soaks this up
leaves you sightless and as off balance as a one-year-old.

Several hands guide you. The air fills with giggles and hyena cackle.
Under Paul Simon’s African skies you squint as the space grows

falls into your whiteness, close enough to touch,
a blur of radiance, a liberation. You know not what is below your feet

above a banished moon, the inky black a backdrop
to silver fury and smoky glow. Flighty besom, stretch out forever

parallel to the heavens, counting stars, drawing constellations,
walking on your back drunken with possibilities. You long for a star bed

Maggie Mackay


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Hygge Feature #12: Baby, it’s cold outside

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… ” When it snows, the world looks clean and bright, unless you have to drive in it. Snow looks best viewed from the window, although this photo was taken from the top of Billinge Lump,  by me. Today’s poems are coming in out of the cold and getting cosy, or watching the snow from indoors.


Upper Wharfedale

At first, just grey, the sky snow-laden,
and far-off sheep like stones on winter fells.
An old man, moleskinned-up and twine cinched,
times his bootsteps to the drub of a gale, the rub
of a collie, close and low, gathering shadows
in her wall-eyed squint.

Cloud, loosed from drystoned horizons,
blows across lead-mines, through the marsh,
swabbing tractor gouges, hoof-poached peat,
the upturned, blackened face of soil.
Hear curlew madrigals, lapwing decussate the mist,
an old man coughing, nipped to his core.

Grey houses, hunkered under ferny crags,
impervious to rain and storm, to swirl and flood
of windslapped river, to fallen willow creeled
beneath a stone-arched bridge where cows once trod,
home for the milking, reds and whites
with fondant eyes.

A boy, who taunted the Angus bull
with stick and cat-calls, who barely lived
to brag another day, pulls broken crayfish traps
from underneath the half drowned stepping-stones,
his brick-red, scarred reflection wavering
in pools and eddies.

Sweet stink of mistle and, resting by the wall,
redundant milk-churns, lipped white with fungus,
plump haloes of stars. Among the ash trees,
through the wych elms, all about the ancient
wet woods, jackdaws swagger, gather twigs
to drop down unprotected stacks.

A wood-stove dissipates the chill, flames flower
through gloom, like strewn geraniums, warm
cold, wet feet and shiny, chilblained fingers
and everything is reddened, drying, thawed.
A long-night moon bestrides the dale, snow settles,
and a home bound vixen shrieks.

Lesley Quayle


Snow Globe       

Look, look, I call,
come and look
through the window.

You’re there
in half a minute,
pull back the curtains.

It’s snowing
softly, suddenly,
cloud-fall of crystals

meshing, balancing
their own weight,
feathering brick walls,

blossoming on kerbsides,
embroidering wheelie
bins with bridal white.                                     .

One shake of the sky
and we’re outside
looking in,

our breath
the glass.

Sheila Jacob


Some seek the fire,
I seek the moon

Winter’s sharp cold
clarifies skies, inner thoughts.
Just when we think it is most cruel,
winter drapes bare branches in
garments of frosty glory.

Inside, most sit by fire’s light
seeking its warm glow
warmth as an inner respite
from, an antidote to
outside’s cold.

Though inside, I’m
by the window
watching snow fall,
flake by flake
down silver paths set by
moonlight endowing
my lawn with the rainbow
glow of light on frost, glorying
in cold comfort.

Joan Leotta





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