May 25, 2011
Bloomington Hosts Food For Thought Poetry Night

The Food For Thought exhibit just completed a tour of Bloomington complete with its own poetry night. The poems focused on food and drinks and left many in the crowd hungry and thirsty for more! Some of the poems and poets are highlighted below.

Lee Chapman wrote his first poems at age 15 but spent most of his life’s energy helping physicists smash atoms at Fermilab. One of his previous works, “A Crazy Quilt of Bloomington Songs,” was performed at Bloomington’s John Waldron Arts Center in 2005. He is an active member in the Bloomington poetry scene. He read “Butter Pecan” which he wrote in June 2008.

Butter Pecan

I want some ice cream.
I have a coupon.
But I am in the
store and it’s at home.

It isn’t my fault.
I can’t predict pre-
cisely what I’ll crave.
Am I supposed to
carry every cou-
pon every day and
everywhere I go?

Last year,
on the thirty seventh floor,
with spreadsheets,
pie charts,
and color scatter plots,
convinced his boss
to get the board
to send this
any-other-offer coupon
to me.

Brad had always dreamed
of playing oboe
in a wind quintet.
It’s in a closet.

His boss had always
wanted to be rich.
He is and has a
corner office suite.

I had wanted ice
cream, not a coupon.

-Lee Chapman

Another poet who performed at the event was Thomas Tokarski. Tokarski is a resident of Monroe County. He is a poet of the people, by the people and for the people, with rhymes and verses for all.


What if bullets were biscuits
shot from pastry guns?
If land mines were unbaked dough
that exploded
into warm, moist biscuits?

What if snipers, hidden in trees and tall buildings,
threw down biscuits on the unsuspecting enemy?
Wouldn’t that be a blow for peace?

Biscuit bombs would be such a surprise
as they bounced off soldiers’ helmets.
Parents would sigh with relief,
their children were finally out of harm’s way.

Wouldn’t it be a better kind of war
if medals for bravery were homemade biscuits
of various shapes and colors
spread with blueberry jam or wildflower honey?
If giant statues of “The Biscuit”
were erected in plazas and public squares
around the world?

Frequent outbreaks of steaming, neighborly biscuits
would be no cause for alarm.
Biscuit generals
would be welcome with open arms
instead of deadly arms.

In place of guns and tanks,
if we sold tons of redi-mix biscuits
to needy countries and rebel groups,
wouldn’t hostilities decrease?

Suppose some rogue dictator got out of hand,
couldn’t NOBLE ( Nations Of Biscuit Lovers Everywhere)
sit him down over a homey meal
of biscuits and gravy and explain
in no uncertain terms:

“Stop this nonsense
or you will eat nothing,
for the rest of your life,
but cold, freeze-dried,
shrink-wrapped Spam!”
That horrific thought
would certainly compel him to repent.

I believe BISCUITS could easily win
the Nobel Prize in Peaceable Gastronomy:

Let it be decreed,
for the future welfare of all peoples,
the biscuit laureate
made with flour and baking powder
will have a more nurturing outcome
than the metallic heartburn
of gunpowder wars.

Biscuits, slathered with butter or jam,
could be the symbol,
the new paradigm, the savior of man,
and woman, child of all races and creeds.
To settle our disputes,
let us not fear to begin
to raise up our arms
raise our food
and cook our way
to yummy peace.

-Thomas Tokarski

Donald Sears, from Bloomington, was another poet who entertained the crowd with his poem “The Little Boy and the Big Fish.”


The Little Boy and the Big Fish

Little Tommie Stout
Went down to the river,
Soon he reeled a big fish out
To eat for his dinner.

The fish begged him to restrain,
He said he tasted bad,
It would be inhumane,
And disturbing to the lad.

It was a moving speech,
A speech to leave one crying,
Then Tommie threw him in—
The  grease,
And left him frying.

-Donald Sears

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