September begins with
Indian Summer heat
fiercely making up for lost days
for rain and clouds
cramming
and on its best behaviour
praying to stave off what is commonly acknowledged as
The Inevitable
Nights out on the patio
drinking cheap red wine
from expensive crystal glasses
Feeling like kings
illuminated
in a citronella glow
The orange moon
The stars
They know
That by mid month
ripe tomatoes will be canned
and everyone will be far too pre-occupied
to linger
in languor
at farmer’s market stalls
And so,
the skies will cry
the leaves will anger
then shrivel in denial
And this spider I see
weaving a silky thread
between this tree and that and the next
will move indoors
instead weaving woolens for my feet
and waiting
just like me
for the thaw.
September is the final prayer
before the sleep
It’s rejoicing
over onyx-shelled oysters
sprinkled in a rainshower of lemon drops
or baked with a savory zabaglione sauce
It’s the final salute
The celebration
And then the curtains close
tight around my shoulders
a scarf around my neck
And taking its cues
From the orange moon
The stars
The masterpiece
regretfully
completes.

-mtg

Featured in:

Simply in Season: 12 months of Wine Country Cooking by Tony de Luca: June 15, 2010 
Reviews:
http://goodfoodrevolution.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/niagaras-tony-de-luca-is-simply-in-season/
http://jameschatto.com/2010/07/three-good-reads/

 

 

 

Also featured in Tony’s cookbook:

Icewine Jelly
(January)

Something sultry on my tongue
Bites me
Like the dry cold air of a hundred days of brevity
Tempered briefly by this small wafer in my hand
Oozing over and drunk with a light decadence.
Something shimmering and sweet
Reminds me
Of something else
Something golden,
Now preserved under glass
Something stolen
From a season that has passed.
And as my taste buds twirl
Over and around
Each voluminous curve,
As a slow sigh escapes into a frosty mist
I think,
This–
This must be the sun.

Fiddledee
(May)

A young fern

Bow and fiddle
Softly strummed
By the fingers of the warming sun

Both unite
In light
Exuberance
And relief
At the changing season

Fiddledee

A young fern
Waking from a cocooned slumber
Ready to unfurl

Tender tendrils
Rejuvenated

Fiddlehead
Plucked
At just the right height
For happiness

August (The King of Plenty)

August is a nobleman
Robust with cheeks and belly
Offering up all he owns
Known as the King of Plenty.

August, like a mother bird
Providing warmth and shaded nests
And bearing fruits of graceful work
Serves us as we lay in rest.

August is a farmer man
A quiet soul with gentle hands
In pink hours, with hat on hair
He tends the land with extra care

His fields are freshly ripening
Delightfully auspicious
The mounds of maize are quite august
Bursting and delicious

It finds its way from farm to feast
We all sit down to eat
Our mouths are full from all the good
Our hearts have skipped a beat.

August is our humble host
Our diligent gardener
With gusto grows all season long
That which will soon be reaped.

November

It’s the crunch, crunch, crunch
That gets me

Crackling leaves under my boots

—Boots!—

Refusing to rake
Convincing myself that my garden also requires
The extra insulation

And what can you say of a month
That begins with a No!
And ends with a brrr

Like an infant that,
Assets aside,
Is destined for drear,
Eugene, Herman, Walter—
Never. Stood. A chance.

Sure,
I could talk about the oysters
Cozy tummies of sauce-covered polenta,
Homemade spaghetti and veal parmigiana

I could ponder
Slow-cooked stews with gravy and potatoes
So warm,
Like rediscovering that favourite sweater
In the cockles of my closet

Sure,
I could contemplate cassoulet
And all things baked—

But it’s the crunch, crunch, crunch
Dropping temperatures
And turned-up thermostat
That seizes my imagination.

-mtg