Browse Topics



Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Ode on a Beet

All ye need to know
      -- John Keats

Boil raw beets for the pleasure
of it, the old way of it, the work of it,
curly green leaves whistling
to bloody veins. Sunflowers race
for sky, untrellised peas languish,
but beets survive shade of cucumber
too nearly planted. Into yoga, beets

don't fight for space, compete
with zucchini. Beet nubs heave,
grow, big or tiny, fissure at the neck.
Large beets peel naturally, small beets
are reluctant, not ripe. Breens steamed,
nubs boiled, cold garnet liquid saved
for dye, wanting this world to be
enough, I leave a taste of dirt, of earth.

Vivian Shipley
Crazy Quilt
©1999, Hanover Press
Used with permission

Back to main festival page.