>Thanks to Kitchen Poets Vault for posting my Winter solstice poem about my annual solstice day activity: baking Finnish pulla (cardamom) bread. I can think of nothing better than the smell of cardamom bread in the oven: it sustains the spirit on the darkest day of the year. I bake several loaves and bring it to holiday gatherings. Yummy. The poem originally appeared at Tattoo Highway, and the page features this wonderful illustration of a braided loaf.
I reach for the spice jar
and pour out a dozen cardamom pods to grind
down to a scented jumble.
I fold in the flour, then knead, raise and braid my bread,
sprinkling an ornament of sugar and almonds on the twisted loaves.
The musky ginger lingers on my warm hands;
sweet yeasty secrets are released by the heat of my stove.
Outside, everything lies encased in frozen pods, in ice,
waiting quietly for the other solstice to crack open
the living powder the world is made of:
my own powder — could I as easily know? I
put away my mortar and pestle.
The long night arrives at the season’s juncture
and the full spectrum shines elsewhere,
I turn away and snap off the yard light,
leaving buried, dark and cold,
the wind-junked souvenirs of December.