Category Archives: poetry

Full Moon – Melt-Water Moon Crests (Spring Equinox, Venus in Taurus)

I’ve been Spring Cleaning.
To some extent anyway.
I talked on twitter, the other day, about turning about turning the compost and the Ceremonial Piping On of The Manure from my childhood in New Brunswick. How doing that little bit of preliminary, seasonal garden maintenance was a sign that Spring had sprung.
I put the Solstice decorations away, that same day. Washed a lot of dishes. Noticed that the rhubarb was crowning.
Maybe it’s because Venus just moved into Taurus (the planet of material goods, sensuality, and beauty moving into the sign of Home, sensuality, tenderness, and all the pleasures life has to offer, whose ruler she is), or maybe it’s because it’s finally warm enough out to open the windows and let a breeze through the place, but my wife and I have both been feeling the call to Clean All The Things.
I’m relieved that the rent is in the bank, and has been since last week (good thing, too, since I didn’t have a lot of work booked for the second half of March), so I’ve been using the quiet days I’ve been given to putter around the house, slowly tidying and putting things away.
It feels like a solid week since I wrote a poem. That’s not a bad thing. Ebbs and flows are real and necessary. I feel like this is a recharging time, however brief it’s going to be.
We’re heading into Eat From the Larder Month, and getting the kitchen in order – especially with a week+ of full time work kicking off in a few more days – is a pretty high priority right now. Besides, getting the place a bit tidier – clean sheets on the bed, laundry done, lots of counter space to work from in the kitchen – is good for my brain. I’m already feeling more relaxed than I was two days ago when I started this little project.
It’s pretty cloudy out right now, so I can’t see much of the full moon. None the less – and even though the bath tub is still full of sheets[1] – I feel like I’m having a bit of a pause-for-breath moment right now. My wife is away for the weekend, visiting her partner who’s house-sitting for an out-of-town friend. I’m treating myself to a glass of shiraz and an indulgent read of a favourite piece of fanfic.
Tomorrow, there’ll be bread (and maybe muffins) to bake, kombucha to decant, vacuuming and sweeping up on the main floor, and an Easter dinner to get to at my mom’s place. But for now, I’m enjoying the quiet.
I’m also enjoying the different kind of creative that comes with home-keeping. The methodical rhythm of making yeast dough, cooling green and hibiscus teas for the kombucha, slow-roasting veggies in the oven, meal planning, putting books back on shelves, darning socks and knitting new garments one stitch at a time.
It’s like a reset button.
I know I can’t do this 100% of the time. Partly because constant entropy of Doing The Dishes feels more like drudgery than the in-and-out breath of a functioning kitchen. And partly because I need to make money (fingers crossed that Venus In Taurus will help me get some extra work booked for April, particularly on the Mars in Leo front, if you can believe it). But also because I need to take the gentle four-on-the-floor beat of a house’s steady heart and turn it into poetry, stories, crafting, the kind of creativity that produces something other than necessities.
With that in mind, maybe it’s not surprising that the card I pulled for my Tarot Card Meditation was the King of Fire.

The Creator (King of Wands) A bald person in flowing red robes holds a glowing energetic light between their hands

The Creator (King of Wands)
A bald person in flowing red robes holds a glowing energetic light between their hands

Otherwise known as the Mentor of Keys, the Visionary of Branches, and the Throne of Fire, the King of Wands is a glamourous artiste who dares to stand out and to stand by their creative work. Enthusiastic and innovative, this joyful, passionate art freak is bold enough (and vain enough) to take risks, take action, try something new, and put themself on display.
As someone who’s been making a point of submitting poetry to magazines for… four months now, this is pretty relevant to my interests. It’s a reminder to keep at that, keep working on my two in-progress manuscripts, and keep being brave and sending stuff out (without getting too demoralized when the rejection letters periodically come in).
The King of Wands is ALSO Venus in Sagittarius. Carefree, playful, happy to have built-in boundaries like geographical distance or time-bound scenes in place. This is also relevant to my interests, if only because my Venus is in Sagittarius (however-much I may act like my sun sign where the heart is concerned). It’s a reminder to play, to make time for dates with my wife and flirtations (that might or might not go anywhere) with new people.

Movement: The usual Walking Everywhere, a couple of modeling gigs that focused on Very Short poses (2 minutes or less, for 2+ hours… it’s like doing power yoga or something), but also the addition of Get Bendier stretches to my weekly routine. Monday mornings (usually) I do a few gravity-friendly stretches to help build core/lower-back muscle (like, more than just plank) and stretch the tendons in my legs. I’d like to try learning Areal Hooping (I picked that link because she’s tall… ish), and part of that means developing a little more flexibility in my legs than I currently have. Beyond that, I’m looking forward to going dancing a little over a week from now.
Attention: Generally speaking, I’ve been paying attention to the mess of my house and making an effort to un-mess it. It’s working, and I feel better because of it. Also, the fact that the rhubarb is coming up again has most-definitely not escaped my attention.
Gratitude: For the rhubarb crowning. For warm days walking with no mitts, my jacket open and my hair down. For discount foundation at the drug store. For a morning date with my wife before she left for her weekend away. For friends who will lend me gardening equipment that I don’t personally own. For lemon-pie flavoured yoghurt on sale at the health food store where I went to get yeast (twice, because I forgot the first time). For a strong body that can carry heavy loads home from the grocery store. For beautiful, beloved trans and cis baby queers being their wonderful, creative, resilient selves in the face of every hardship – you give me so much hope and joy. For a breeze from the open window. For clean sheets on the bed and clean dishes in the dish rack. For unexpected door prizes. For queer femme excitement and encouragement wrt my Femme Glosa Project. For a very full larder to draw on for the next month. For a patient landlord. For gig-employers who try to find extra work for me. For the rent already being in the bank. For the smell of humid, thawing earth, crocus leaves already poking through the topsoil. For quiet nights spent reading. For the chance to go dancing in big, fancy shoes. For a tiny bird, and a big lady, and a lot of friends who love me. ❤
Inspiration: I’m still working on femme glosas (hit 30 poems, not too long ago!) and attending VERSeFest on a night when two queer femmes – Kama La Mackerel and Rasiqra Revulva – were performing DEFINITELY helped on that front. I’m also working (still) on my moon-inspired chapbook, and trying to take honest inspiration from my own life, rather than being vague or trying to be “deep” or “shocking” about stuff.
Creation: See above, re: poetry. I’ve also finished the waistband of my eventual hand-knit thank-top/shell, and have started picking up the stitches for knitting in the round. I’ve got something like 400 stitches still to pick up, but I’ve technically started Part Two, and I feel good about that. I’ve also got Plans to make bread (and maybe muffins) and start a ferment of shiitake mushrooms (dried and reconstituted, to be fermented in salt water with thyme and garlic) tomorrow. It’s all creativity in some form or another. Wish me luck.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] I finally got around to soaking some stained sheets in vinegar and salt water, which I’m hoping will help get them properly clean. Beyond that, I’m not sure what to do, since bleach isn’t much of an option for colourful stuff. Suggestions welcome. >.>

New Moon – Melt-Water Moon Begins

Technically, the new/dark moon was yesterday, but we’ll go with this. In addition to being the last day of March, today was also my last day of Temp Job.
I am so happy to be done, kids, I can’t even articulate it.
And it’s not that the job was bad.
It was actually really pleasant. I was working with a team (for the first time in my temp-work history) and we all got along, and the work – while a tad on the stressful side, due to time-limits and the necessary reliance (in order to get the information we needed to finish the job) on people who had more power and less time than we did – wasn’t actually arduous or unpleasant. The money, for temp work, was good. And it means I’ve got four months of (may share of the) rent in the bank, which is nothing to sneeze at.
None the less, I’m really happy to be home.
I’m so happy to know that, starting now, my time is MINE. Yes, I’ll be devoting necessary bits of it to filling jewelry orders (tomorrow) and working on my “regular day job[1]” stuff, but I’ll be able to run errands during the day. I’ll be able to multi-task by getting the bread started and the laundry in the machine, and then working on fill-in-the-blank while the dough rises and the washer does its thing.
I’m so happy that I can get back into my usual routine, dedicating Friday hours to blogging, devotions, good cooking, and adding a new item or two to that list. I’m so happy to know that I’ll have the time and space to go for walks (did I mention that today felt like the first real day of Spring?[2]) to sit in libraries or coffee shops[3] and work on my National Poetry Month poetry project.
Yeah, I have a poetry project. My plan is to write 2 poems (drafts) per day, every day of April, in order to come up with a draft manuscript for a poetry book (tentatively titled “How to Cook a Heart”). It’s going to be poems about food and seasonality, but I’m curious to find out what else comes out in the metaphors (I have theories… we’ll see if they pan out).
So that’s where I’m at. I have a freezer full of bones that need to be made into stock (and no pressure canner with-which to can said stock, which means waiting until I get through the last few jars in the fridge before doing a new batch). I have a duck carcase to hack up and store in the fridge (more bones… oh, darn. ;-)) and quinoa to put in a tupperware as well. I have a fridge to clean out, since the bits and pieces have been building up and, honestly, some of them are definitely past their best. I have tidying to do, and a home to get settled into again.
The seasons are turning. The next lunar cycle will be busy, but busy with the labours of my heart. 😀
– Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] Queer & Trans health outreach. Ten hours a month = stable, albeit small, income for me.
[2] Eleven degrees (celsius) and sunny. The sun was warm. I walked home with my jacket open and my sunglasses on! 😀
[3] I know, I know. Coffee shops aren’t the best use of my limited funds, but they’re a great way to designate Writing Time by setting it in a space that has neither (a) distracting Things I Must Get Done, or (b) fascinating books I haven’t read yet. So I go with that.

X is for XXX – Pagan Blog Project 2013

And so we come to X. As an Anglophone who doesn’t have much to do (if anything) with Aztec, Mayan, Chinese (maybe) or Greek deities, the X prompt gives me pause. So much so that it apparently stopped my in my tracks last year.
But this year, I think I can manage at least one entry on the subject of “X” or, in this case, “XXX”. Much to my surprise, I have a goddess of sexworkers in my pantheon.
People who know me, or who read my other blog, maybe won’t think this is all that surprising, but back when I sent out my all-call for deities (this was just over ten years ago, if I think about it), I was a staunch anti-porn feminist and it was only much later – like “when I got divorced” later – that I realized that I’d done something Funny with my Goddess Job Descriptions.
Earth Goddess Job Description: Hearth, home, abundance, growth, parenting, food, cooking, shelter, pregnancy.
Sun Goddess Job Description: Passion, dance, wealth, money, careers, courage, overt sexuality.
I had split my understanding of “abundance” and, in my case, “the purpose of my ovaries” into two parts (or three parts, if you bring Maia – with her queerness, creativity, peer-to-peer attachment bonds, and midwifery – into the equation). One of them had (and has) a lot in her jurisdiction that is very much the socially-approved-of realm of The Wife, even though (to my knowledge) Mattaer has never had a spouse of any kind. (I might be wrong about that. She’s just never mentioned anyone to me, is all). The other was… all the stuff I was afraid of, that I felt were things that happened *to* me, that would be done *to* me, rather than *by* me.
A year after that, I was in a romantic relationship with a woman who was involved in various areas of the sex industry, and it was only when she had a really bad night[1] one New Year’s Eve that I realized that one of my Goddesses – with her courage, her sexuality, and her career/money work – was exactly the deity to be praying to under those circumstances.
Much, much later, after that relationship had ended, I got asked to perform for the AGM of the local sexworkers rights organization, and I wrote the following poem for that set.
Continue reading

M is for Meditation – Pagan Blog Project 2013

M is for a lot of things – Mentruation is one of them[1]. Magic is another (since my first Pagan Identity was “witch, as in spell-caster[2]”, this is kind of massively relevant for me). Music and Mysteries and the names of all of my Goddesses (Maia, Misha, Mitzu, Mattaer, and Makaa, if you’re Nasty), are all things that M is for.
And yet, weirdly, I’m not actually going to talk about any of them (much) and will, instead, focus on M is for Meditation.
Who knew?
So. As-you-know-bob, I did a session with Sofia Wren earlier this week. The upshot of this, among other things, is that I went out and found some chakra-cleansing meditations on youtube and proceeded to do them.
Look. In my case, meditation isn’t much of anything. I’m not zen, I have a relatively short attention span, and I tend to want to multitask regardless of what I’m doing. And this youtube video was basically just a deep-breathing exercise.
I think it might actually be helping.
The throat chakra is all about communication – everything from Saying What You Mean to tapping into your creative expression to singing to getting your thyroid moving (I dunno), to Using Your Words, to poetry and prose and oration, to comfort with public speaking – and it’s also one that I’ve had some… stuff… with for years.
Years of people telling me to shut up
Years of fearing to Use My Words
Years of Not Singing in spite of all my training
Years, for that matter, of voice training followed by a complete stop and a year-long hiatus (and then twelve more years of just not singing much or well or properly)
Frequent bouts of doubting that my work (my singing, my writing, my teaching) was any good
My slimy ex-husband actively tried to close my throat chakra one night (he couldn’t do it, the fucker. Ha! Power to me!)
…Stuff like that.
And I’ve taught something like 16 people about local fruit.
And I’ve had Part Two of a story that got shelved in 2010 just start coming out of me. (Please let this turn into a novel – that would be AWESOME!)
And I’ve been singing, just sort of for the hell of it, but without getting a scratchy throat afterwards, for the past two days.
So… Maybe this is helping? 🙂
Gosh I hope so! 😀
Meliad the (Musical) Birch Maiden
[1] As a (cis) chick, my worth as a commodity human being is frequently reduced to the assumption that I have a cunt and speculations as to whether or not I have a functioning, as-yet-untouched, and available-for-ownership reproductive system in addition there-to. See: Texas, street harrassment, marital rape, reproductive coersion, telling a nine year old that she “asked for it”, saying hookers “can’t get raped”, and the entire rest of The Patriarchy / Rape Culture for details.
I may wind up doing a post on this one after all but… not today.
[2] I see this as a bit like “Queer as in fuck you”, personally. But that’s just me, and it might be just today.

Published! :-D

Happy Imbolg, all!
I’ve got chocolate custard flavoured with vanilla, sweet orange, and cloves[1] baking in the oven, and a new poem published at Hyacinth Noir (go check it out).
Imbolg Chocolate Custard
6 eggs
1/2 C milk
1/2 C cream
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp orange extract
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Fill a shallow baking pan (I use a glass cake pan) 1/3 full of water and set aside.
Grease an oven-proof dish (like a casserole dish or some corningware), and set it in the water pan.
Preheat the oven to 350F
Blend eggs, milk, orange extract, and sugar in a 2C glass measuring cup (or a small bowl) – use an immersion blender for this, as it will make things really smooth.
In a sauce pan (or a double boiler) on MEDIUM melt the chocolate chips with the butter, vanilla, cloves, salt, and cream, whisking gently until very smooth.
Reduce heat to LOW, and add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture.
Whisk mixture steadily while it thickens (takes 5-10 minutes. If it winds up getting kind of grainy, it’s okay. Not as smooth as you might like, but it doesn’t hurt anything).
When the mixture is thickened, pour it into the greased oven-proof dish.
Put everything in the oven.
Bake for 45-60 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool
Serve on its own, or spoon over angel-food-cake or baked pears (or both).
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] This combination invites joy, love, sensuality, prosperity, & bliss, while banishing jealousy. Poly Custard for the win! 😀 As a bonus, sweet orange and cloves (although not-so-much vanilla) correspond to fire and the sun and, thus, are good for honouring Brigid and/or the noticeably longer days, as is appropriate for this time of year. 😀

Crafting Update – Candles (and, to a lesser extent, Jewelry)

Flower Moon started about a week ago (for all that the actual flowers have been around for ages). Chances are that the flowers in question, this year, are roses and hawthorn blossoms. The crocuses and service berry blossoms of cooler months and earlier new moons are long-gone, and the apple, pear, and cherry trees are putting out their fruit (long from ripe, yet, but you can see it forming). Bu the hardy roses I see in people’s front yards and lining parking lots, parks, and bus terminals? They’re just opening up right now, a dozen shades of pink – from palest blushes and bisques to magentas, fuschias, and madders so deep they become purples and reds – filling the air with their scent and their promise of summer still coming into its fullness.

I’ve been working in the wonderful world of crafts today.
I’ve worked on my Honey-Month-inspired earring collection, and I’ve also made beeswax candles.

Not many of the latter.

One is an experiment to see if the “dark beeswax” pre-tabbed tea-light wicks I got actually do have a two-inch burn pool. If yes, I’m set for making votive-esques. If no, it’s back to the drawing board (but at least I’ll have lots of tealight wicks). I’m burning the last of my previous (thinner wicked) votive-esque in the hopes of doing a refill (there’s lots of unburned wax in this one) while switching out the used up (soon) wick for one of the new, thicker tealight wicks, just to see what burns better/more.

The other candles – seven in total – were re-fills (new wick, replenished wax) for the tealights that live on my altars. My altars are all lit up now. It’s been a while, so I think my gods are happy for the quick meal. I’ll have to spend some time doing refills on the beeswax tea lights I made earlier so that I don’t run out. (They are shallow tealights – they only burn for an hour or so, typically – so I go through them pretty fast).

I find my new wicks are (possibly due to being thicker) slower to light. We’ll see what else is different about them – will the tealights burn faster because the wick is thicker? Will they burn more evenly/completely?
We’ll find out! 🙂

My tealights don’t look anything like this.

Anyway. That’s my crafting update.

Meliad the Birch Maiden. 🙂

Looking for Omens (in all the wrong places…) – A Progress Report of Sorts

The trick with having multiple blogs is that you always feel like you’re neglecting one of them. I’ve been neglecting Syrens for what feels like weeks now ( about 10 days, actually), although it’s been getting a fair bit of input recently. But, of course, this means I feel like I’m neglecting Urban Meliad.

Ice/Hunger Moon is coming up (on Sunday, by the looks of things[1]) and I’m trying to get my ducks in a row with regards to my take on the New Year, New You project.

On that note:
I dreamed, last night, that I was looking after an excitable little boy who – for reasons I don’t entirely understand (I think he was just unthinkingly enthusiastic and/or wanting to impressive by emphatically getting the answer right) decided to start throwing lit candle(s) around the place.
The candle he threw (a) broke, but (b) didn’t stop burning. Although (c) nothing else caught fire (thank goodness) and I was able to put the (still burning) candle back together. He got sniffly about it. I think he was afraid he was going to get in Big Trouble.

My “big accomplishment” today has been Actually Watering the Plants – which I’ve also been neglecting. And noticing that I’m avoiding being social with a lot of people. Huh… Can’t tell if that’s just a wintery desire for hibernation or what, but it’s there.

So that’s what I’m noticing, so far, with regards to Miss Sugar’s latest New Year New You prompt regarding looking for signs and omens. (I’m not exactly looking for Signs and Omens, but I’m looking for recurring themes. No idea if that’s the same thing…)

Anyway. Tonight I’m in a poetry show and, hopefully, also getting some knitting done. (I’m trying to finish a mostly-virgin-wool, partially-merino, partially-other-stuff, black and red beret for next weekend. Wish me luck!)

Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] I confess, I rely more on my We’Moon date book than on the actual (frequently overcast) sky for this one, so…

Unexpectedly Lammas-Related, Poetry-Inspired Baking

Yeah, I know. That title’s a mouthful. A mouthful of deliciousness!

See, today I made Peach Jam. Specifically, I made peach jam with the addition of pear-cider vinegar and a few strawberries I had lying around (it’s a remarkably pink orange colour as a result of both the peach skins and the strawberries, I don’t mind telling you).
I used my last two 2C jars to can the stuff, though, so when I was left with about half a cup of fresh jam lying in the pot with nowhere to put it (except in me, of course), I decided that it was time to do more baking.

So I wrote a cupcake recipe (see below).

Of course, me being me, I didn’t actually stick to the recipe once I wrote it. My recipe calls for eggs, yoghurt, and a couple of other bits and pieces that I didn’t have on-hand at home. I switched up a bunch of stuff (including adding half a cup of fine cornmeal to cover the ground almonds I didn’t have, and adding a handful of chopped white chocolate plus a few dried apricot bits and dried cranberries, all of-which came from an ancient and failed attempt at making white chocolate bark one Winter Solstice) and baked with what I had. The recipe you’ll find, below, is actually an amalgamation of the original recipe with the extra thrown-in-stuff added (either as definite ingredients or as optional ones).

The resulting baked goods, possibly due to the cornmeal, taste more like a very, VERY fluffy muffin than like a cupcake. BUT they’re still uber-tasty and I recommend them, for sure. 😀

Some Notes:
The recipe itself is in part inspired by the jam I made, but it’s also inspired by Peach Creamed Honey (I hope that link works for everyone), the award-winning poem from Amal El-Mohtar’s gorgeous book of poetry, The Honey Month. So, obviously, the best choice for the small amount of honey called-for in this recipe is actual peach-creamed honey. Which I have no notion where to find. BUT it seems to work nicely with clover honey, so do what you like.
Also: While I didn’t mean for this to end up being Lammas-related, it includes honey[1], cornmeal[2], peaches[3] AND jam[4]. So I’m feeling like it’s kind of Seasonally Thematic, half by accident.

Anyway. Without further ado, the recipe:




For the Cupcakes

1½ C flour (wheat, oat, barley, mixture, whatever)
1 C ground almonds (OR ½ C ground almonds + ½ C fine cornmeal – which is what I used)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

½ C sour cream OR yoghurt
½ C margarine/butter/shortening
½ C brown sugar
¼ C peach jam
2 tbsp creamed honey (liquid honey is also okay)
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp orange extract (optional)

2 egg whites, beaten until stiff

¼ C chopped dried peaches (may substitute dried apricots – the emphasis here is on “dried”)
¼ C white chocolate chips

For the Frosting

1C icing sugar
¼ C margarine/butter
1 tsp orange extract OR vanilla extract
1 tbsp peach jam

Flaked almonds OR strips of orange zest (to garnish)


Preheat oven to 350F

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until they are very stiff

In a large bowl, cream together the sour cream, egg yolks, sugar, and margarine

Add the jam, vanilla, honey, and optional orange extract, and blend until smooth

In a separate bowl (or not) mix the dry ingredients together, then add them to the sour cream mixture and blend gently until smooth, being careful not to over-mix

Fold in the beaten egg whites

Add the chopped dried fruit and the white chocolate chips and fold in until well-distributed

Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin cups

Bake for 20-35 minutes (until golden brown)

Remove from oven and let stand ten minutes before moving the cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling

When cupcakes are fully cooled, frost them with the frosting and decorate them with orange zest, flaked almonds, or whatever your heart desires


Please note: My oven only has one element (as opposed to the usual two) and so a dozen cupcakes tend to take a good half hour for me. If you have a fully-functional oven, chances are good that your cupcakes will only take 15-20 minutes. Be aware.

And, yeah. That’s my recipe. 😀

– Cheers,
– Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] Harvested, around hear, in Mid-to-Late July. (You can also do a harvest around Hallowe’en, actually, which I’ll be keeping in mind come late October).

[2] It’s corn-harvesting season at the moment and, if you do Lammas as a specifically grain-related festival, that’s your grain if you’re in my bioregion.

[3] Currently in season in Ontario.

[4] home-canning, related to harvesting and planning for the future, plus the jam includes strawberries[5] and locally-brewed[6] pear-cider vinegar. I could also note that the dried fruit, drying being another method of preserving produce, fits the same correspondences as the jam. Just saying. 🙂

[5] Also in season (though getting late) in Ontario.

[6] By a friend of mine who had a batch of pear cider go… awry. It’s a gorgeous, mild, seriously fragrant vinegar that I love using in desserts. 🙂

On Bread

I made bread yesterday.  And cookies.

I know.  Baking when it’s 41C (that something like 106F, for you fahrenheit people) with the humidity, why was I turning on the oven??


But it’s something I do.  I’ve been baking bread since I was about fifteen, off and on (but mostly on), and it’s something I watched my mom do when I was little and we lived in the Maritimes and she’d do it every week for both us and the farmer’s market where she had a stall (bread, fresh produce, and bouquets of marsh flowers, fyi).


I love that bread is alive (even though, of course, you kill it when you bake it).  I love it because it’s such a huge staple food — the way rice is in just about every part of the world.  The staff of life.


I’ve got a cook book called Laurel’s Kitchen (I’ve got the original, which was given to my parents before I was born, but I’m linking you to The New Laurel’s Kitchen because it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaay less expensive than the original) and, while I definitely don’t agree with all of its politics, I love the way it talks about bread as a living thing that nurtures the makers/eaters on multiple levels.

It does.

When I bake bread — most of the time, anyway — I feel like I’m doing spiritual practice. My deities are those of hearth and home and harvest as much as they are of meadow and moon, sun and ground and crossroads. So when I take flour(s), warm water, honey and yeast, salt and oil and (sometimes) milk and eggs, and turn them into a living dough that I then turn into an edible substance of deliciousness… I’m working with the flesh of a number of my deities, and I’m doing something kind of akin to magic (sort of like alchemy?).

Sometimes I wonder if that’s why so many people (even now, when most of the folks I know do their own kitchen alchemy, making pickles or jam or paneer) react with “You make your own bread??? From scratch???” when they find out.
Other times, I figure they react like that because, no matter how easy bread-making actually is, the theoretical time-consumption and physical work is… a little intimidating if you haven’t tried it before.

Anyway. Those are just some very scattered thoughts on bread. Here. Have a poem:



Anyone who tells you
is a science
is lying
or misinformed

Oh, sure
if you follow the directions
to the letter
(six cups of flour
a tablespoon of yeast)
you’ll get something to eat
it may even be loaf-shaped

But it won’t be Bread

Because Bread is an art
The art
of making miracles
from scratch

It is breathing
back into the dead
(desicated bodies
the blood of trees
even stones)

It is taking what you have
whatever you have
mashed potatoes
and turning it
and turning it
and turning it
by fire and life
and the work your hands
you have turned it
into something new

is an act of worship

It is the art
of making love

like flesh


Meliad the Birch Maiden