Day 22 NaPoWriMo Fruit or the Vegetable Lamb or…

The prompt for today said “I’d like you to write a poem about a plant. Flowers, of course, have been the subject of poems since time immemorial, and continue to be a source of much inspiration. But perhaps you could write about a tree, or a shrub, or grass. Maybe even a fictional or mythological plant. I could really see some good poems about the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary! (In fact, a few poems were written about it, back between 1550 and 1800. I say it’s time for a renaissance!)” 

The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary

The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Wikipedia)

Carol A. Stephen

So I read about that and it was interesting, another of those stories where everyone has a version and they are not necessarily the same, but not different either. So here’s my poem:
Of Mythical Tales of Watersheep and Barnacle Geese

Were watersheep born on the stem of a plant,
or Barnacle geese born of wood drifted slant,
or maybe both spawned from some strange fleshy fruit?
Perhaps they were mythical creatures to boot,
the stories embellished for use on fast day,
so men could still savour their meals on Friday.

Barnacle Geese. Facsimile of an Engraving on W...

Barnacle Geese. Facsimile of an Engraving on Wood, from the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster, folio, Basle, 1552. Project Gutenberg text 10940 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These men of the cloth and of pious belief
could eat meat those days in such a relief,
that these were the fruits of the water, the sea,
and so could be eaten most sensitively

on fish days and fast days and days in between,
they’d not have to worry the meat might be seen.
If meat is a fruit, it could be tomato,
or if it’s veggie, it could be potato,
and then there’s no sin that must be repented
no penance to do, and nothing resented.

It all sounds quite silly, I think you’ll agree,
just another old wives’ tale if you ask me.

Carol A. Stephen
April 22, 2012

Here, also, real Barnacle Geese, looking perfectly


Two Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

Two Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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