This poem, Blending, was broadcast on Sunday Miscellany on Nov.
I cut the bag open, take in the flavours.
It has been a journey, from coffee
wafting through our Ohio childhood;
Mom and her friends’ laughter in the kitchen
while we played out on the front porch.
Our move home to Donegal and their love
of tea. Instructions not to stew the pot
before it was placed under a crochet cosy.
Moving on to student years in our bedsit,
us so cool, with Vesta curry and the secret
to the best coffee; two spoonfuls of Nescafe
and milk stirred together so fast it frothed.
Forward now to my son ordering a flat white.
He has seen coffee plantations in Honduras,
and become a Cloud Picker, a work name
so apt for him, our roastery expert,
bringing me on from petrol station takeaway
to this, “try this espresso, can you taste the mango?”
He knows what it is to rip open a fresh bag of beans,
the of science of heat, precise time and perfect taste,
knows what it is that will make a brew bitter.
He is blending all off his learning with a passion
as he jokes, “I’m going to make a new North West roast
from Guatemalan beans: Guat about Ye Mucker.”
Getting the Vote Out by Theresa Barnett
A Good Stick by Mary Russell
Blending by Denis Blake
Martinmas by Una Leavy
Jack the Basketman by John MacKenna
In Memory of Dermot Healy by Kevin Graham