Love Song for a Grapefruit

Dear Grapefruit, I of late have been untrue,
Seduced by sweet confections of all sorts;
My tastebuds languish, and my girth reports
Unwanted gain from my neglect of you.
The cakes, the cookies left me dull and slow;
My sugar-ravaged tongue is all athirst.
Now I crawl back to you in clothes that burst,
As bursts my longing heart, I love you so.
Oh Grapefruit, Grapefruit—orb of glowing sun,
Object of my poor palate’s deep desire,
Fair fueler of my metabolic fire—
I yearn to see your healing juices run.
__Sublime and heav’nly citrus of my soul,
__As I devour you, I again am whole.

 

 

For Sythia

“For Sythia, for Sythia!” they cry,
Their voice a burst of sunlit yellow flame;
Defiant of the bleak and dreary sky,
Her beauty jubilantly they proclaim.

Who was this Sythia?—I muse—and why
Are these shrubs ever bound to spread her fame?
A maiden, lovely to the gazing eye?
A bold, free spirit none could ever tame?

For her they live, while year by year goes by;
They greet each ‘wakening springtime with her name,
As night and day for Sythia they sigh.

And since their bright existence has this aim,
Even when glory fades and blooms must die—
This, even this, “for Sythia” they claim.

 

 

Futility

As the moth that ceaselessly beats its wings
__Against the casement that holds the flame,
Drawn on as if by phantom strings,
Oblivious to all other things
Save the faint hope to which it clings—
__I do the same.

One crucial fact it seems to miss—
__‘Twould be consumed in the coveted glow—
And being unaware of this
It struggles on in careless bliss,
Seeking the fire’s burning kiss;
__But I—I know.

 

 

Anna J. Arredondo grew up in Pennsylvania, where she fell in love with poetry from a young age. After living in Mexico for six years, during which time she met and married her husband, she returned to Pennsylvania for one more decade. An engineer by education, home educator by choice, and poet by preference, she relocated in 2017 and currently resides in Westminster, CO with her husband and three school-age children. Anna has recently had poems published in The Lyric and Time of Singing.


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17 Responses

  1. Peter Hartley

    Vastly amusing, especially the first two, and poems about grapefruit and forsythia I was not altogether expecting. I feel it is important to point out to any readers who may not be of a musaceous bent (and I use the word “bent” advisedly) that bananas don’t grow on trees: they grow on PLANTS.

    Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you. There really isn’t enough poetry out there about fruit and shrubs, and I’m pleased if I can make even a little difference.

      I’m a bit mystified by the reference to bananas.

      Reply
  2. Philip Keefe

    Anna

    Thank you for these three poems which I enjoyed very much. Interesting themes all three and the last quite poignant. The first makes me likely to put grapefruit on my shopping list again!
    They are all well crafted.

    Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you. I hope many more will be inspired to add grapefruit to their shopping lists!

      Reply
  3. James A. Tweedie

    I loved the self-effacing wit of “Grapefruit,” the extended word-play in “Sythia,” and the biting metaphoric parallels in “Futility.” When poems connect directly with the reader’s own life-experience (along with having a tight, polished, formal structure) they must be declared a success. I enjoyed them all.

    “I love you so!” So over the top funny I’m still laughing!

    Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you very much for the detailed feedback. Having read some of your writing (as well as some of your constructive critiques) I am honored to receive a glowing review from such an accomplished poet as yourself!

      Reply
  4. Carb Deliseuwe

    All three poems show the lyrical artistry of Ms. Arredondo. “For Sythia” seems almost classical in tone and execution. The “Love Song” has happily reminded me of a sonnet I wrote some years back, and my past enjoyment of grapefruits.

    A Man Eating a Grapefruit

    He grasps the golden globule in his hand
    and slowly peels off the appealing skin.
    A yellow grapefruit is his to command.
    His lips ope’ up, as he takes it all in.
    The bitter, sour juice is biting, sweet.
    He takes another piece. It is quite nice.
    It spikes his appetite. He likes to eat
    it up—each succulent delicious slice.
    He does not stop, except to pause to feel
    the joy that journeys down his hardened throat.
    He pulls apart the pinkish parts; a wheel
    of happiness surrounds his aural float.
    So brief it passes by, it’s hard to think
    where it has gone, into where it must sink.

    Reply
    • Wilbur Dee Case

      The assonance and alliteration in Carb Deliseuwe’s sonnet, if not stupendous, is at least remarkable.

      Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Ha! That is great! It is most gratifying to run into another poet who deems the grapefruit to be sonnet-worthy. I do hope your “past enjoyment” of grapefruits has continued into the present.

      I actually also wrote a “sequel”, Love Song For a Grapefruit II, but SCP chose not to include it here.

      Reply
  5. Carb Deliseuwe

    I have dropped the grapefruit from my morning breakfasts, which tend to focus on blueberries, raisins, and pomegranate juice. I probably have not had a grapefruit for almost two years now, and am not planning to change that. Be that as it may, why not post the second poem in the comments? It may only be read only by one or two people ever, but it is there.

    Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Carb,
      I am sorry to hear there is no longer any grapefruit in your diet. Whether or not my sequel compels you to change your mind, it does seem a logical place to post it (though there may have been good reason they chose not to include it…). Here goes:

      Love Song for a Grapefruit II

      Dear Grapefruit, no one understands
      The depths of how I feel about you,
      But when I hold you in my hands
      I know I couldn’t live without you.

      Some think you bitter, some think sour —
      They don’t know how t’ appreciate you;
      Their cruel lips pucker; as they glower,
      With unkind words they underrate you.

      To peel off your protective layers
      They lack the patience and desire,
      Thus can’t perceive (vicious gainsayers)
      The very charms that I admire.

      I carefully remove your skin;
      All those thin membranes ’round you placed
      But serve to hold your riches in,
      And are not meant to spoil your taste.

      The sweet, red, luscious jewels inside
      They never cease to captivate —
      My every sense is satisfied.
      The prize is surely worth the wait!

      Then, when I’ve eaten each sweet part,
      Grapefruit, your precious essence lingers:
      I bear your memory in my heart —
      And your aroma on my fingers.

      Reply
  6. Paul

    These are great poems. Wow, Anna.

    “Futility” is brilliantly crafted, universally personal (the way Emily Dickinson’s poems are), tender even though the self-destruction isn’t, and profound. I’m really floored by this poem. It takes my breath away a bit.

    “Forsythia” is light and sweet – cute execution and cute idea.

    “Love Song for a Grapefruit” is delicious, and also so well crafted. I would have called it Love Song for J Alfred Grapefruit.

    Thanks so much for these, Anna.

    Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Paul,

      Thank you for your generous praise. It is rewarding to know when a reader considers a poem of mine well-crafted technically, and even more so that it has struck a chord with them as well!

      Reply
  7. Sally Cook

    Put your poems aside, and then didn’t get to them. My error ) I’m with you on poems about food and also those which allude to moths and blooms. So much of what might be enjoyed is put aside in favor of very sober writing. These poems of yours may have small glitches in meter and pronunciation, but I’m not even going to mention them. I only caution you to never post anything before it has “cured.” I have done that a few times, regrettably.

    I, too, write about anything that strikes me, such as cheese, chickens, turkey buzzards and other seemingly trivial parts of life, enjoyed the results very much, as I believe others also have.

    The best thing you have is a “quirky” or off-center view of .life, which allows you to pick up the forgotten gems on the shore of life and call them to our much appreciated attention. Please, keep on with this, and post here !

    Reply

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