how to boil an egg

November 20, 2007

If the egg is too fresh, then boiled,
it will not peel. If you drop the egg
into boiling water, it may crack.

I cannot tell you in minutes
seconds, beats of phoenix wings,
burning or emerged

or of cicada hearts,

how long your egg will take to set in the centre
or the soft ceramic white. So many things
will be brought to bear upon the outcome:

the pressure of the air beyond the pan,
the diet of the hen, her mood,
the moods of the gods,

whether a witch is whispering
outside your window, whether a black cat
furs your path in the morning

as the unbound yolk of sun
divides dawn clouds.

Whether the stars were pale the night before
or shifting through all the colours. Whether
you watched your body dance amongst the northern lights

like a flame seen through an insect’s wing.
So many things. But you can know,
and this I cannot teach you.


5 Responses to “how to boil an egg”

  1. Thankyou, this one was a lot of fun to write.

  2. ah….
    i like very much the way you joined the seemingly mundane domestic task of boiling an egg to the extraordinary world of witches and things unseen (as the boiling of the egg is)

    and there is always a special place in my heart for you endless and i thank you most sincerely for all your insightful comments. and for sure i will be visiting you as you continue to share with us!

  3. Since I first read it, I have thought of this poem each time I have boiled eggs. I’ve gotten really good results, peeling perfectly, no greyness. It’s amazing and I think it has to do with channeling this poem. 😉 Thanks!

  4. Jacqueline said

    I actually happened upon this after frying an egg (not the same, I know).

    An egg is so natural, and I love how you connect that with the nature imagery throughout.

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