a word on words

So I hate to be blasting you with links to click on and no return on my part so at the end of this post is indeed a recipe for you to make and share, especially, if you can, with poets; they like their sweets. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway.

Before we get to the double chocolate mud cupcakes (easy to share; easy to transport; don’t need icing; easy ish to make; perfect birthday cupcakes) we’re talking about poetry.

Poetry, rather like tea, soothes the soul and calms the spirits. Poetry is the words when there are no words to describe what goes on in the heart and in the soul. Poetry writes the words that won’t come, poetry tells us that we are not alone. Poetry is the lyrics to the song of life. Poetry is the imagination of the world written out upon the pages of our collective journal, the words spoken into the darkness when no one will hear, the cry of one in the wilderness, the emphasis of the swear words when they aren’t strong enough.

Poetry lifts you up when you’re high enough to be lifted and sits with you in the deep dark places when you aren’t. It sings your delights and wails your sorrows.

Poetry touches us. Poetry holds our hearts with gentle hands, lets us rest in its soft loving arms.

Poetry challenges us. Poetry reaches in and touches our hearts and says, you can feel this. Don’t pretend you can’t. Do something about it instead.

Poetry is hope. And ‘Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul,/And sings the tune–without the words, /And never stops at all’ *

Poetry can be written, and it is beautiful when written – the Norton Anthology of Poetry is a good place to start. (page 1340).

Poetry can be read but poetry can also be spoken. Spoken Word poetry is one of the most spine tingling experiences you can be a part of.

The Centre for Poetics and Justice is ‘dedicated to the integration of poetics and social transformation.’ There are many different poetry events around Melbourne; try Overload Poetry, the Wheeler Centre, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Poetiq, or tune in to Channel 31 on Wednesdays at 11pm for Red Lobster.

And now for the cupcakes.

Everything I said earlier was true.

These are beautifully dense and chocolaty, while managing not to be overly heavy. They don’t need icing, they travel well, they are great to share – if they get past your own kitchen.

They are fantastic for birthday cupcakes, as well, as we demonstrated tonight.

Double Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

Adapted from Cupcakes from the Australian Women’s Weekly kitchen

I couldn’t find the actual book on Amazon that I got the recipe from, but this one seems quite close.

60g dark eating chocolate, chopped

160ml water

90g softened butter

1 cup firmly brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup self raising flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/3 cup almond or hazelnut meal

Preheat oven to 170ºC. Line a 12 hole cupcake pan with paper cases.

Melt chocolate with the water in a small saucepan and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy; add eggs one at a time. Sift in flour and nut meal; fold in gently and add chocolate. Stir until just incorporated.

Fill cases until about they are about 3/4 of the way full. You should be able to divide the mixture evenly among the 12.

Bake about 25 minutes. They should be lightly springy to the touch; don’t let them overbake otherwise they’ll be dry and crackly on the top. Let them rest five minutes before turning them out to cool on a wire rack.

*Hope, by Emily Dickinson

luke

So I feel like it’s time to talk about what happened last week.

This is a sensitive issue. Please don’t think I’m making light of it at all; I’m still vulnerable and so are a lot of people. But this news was in the news, it is on Facebook, it’s common knowledge, or at least it should be. And it’s all I’ve really been thinking about, because at the moment, everything comes back to this one life-altering event.

On Tuesday 5th April, 2011 at approximately 8am, my housemate, a 25-year-old trainee aircraft engineer was killed in a motorbike accident on his way to college.

He was an amazing guy and we’re still all reeling from the shock. I can’t believe it was more than a week ago, to be honest. Yesterday was the funeral in Sydney; on Wednesday night I spilled my heart on the matter in a public forum via the medium of spoken word poetry.

This is that poem.

suckerpunch

so

here i am

sitting in not enough memories

insomniac thoughts flittering through

thundering clouds whisper rainbows into dreams of sunlight and dancing

on knives

underneath this gathering storm which threatens violence on my somewhat ordered life

darkness is all i can see but

sunlight is all there is here

 

such a beautiful day

 

sometimes, life punches you in the guts. SUCKER! it yells and runs off, leaving you gasping and disoriented

wandering around in familiarity but not recognising a single thing

bent double

breathless

and aching

this ache in my heart used to be hope, for hope is what kept it beating

hope keeps us all breathing

shock

stopped

dead

for a while

frozen lungs

unable to picture anything

alone with these thoughts marching in, keeping me wondering

 

no words

or is it too many?

 

shaking hands

uncomfortable in my own skin

pounding heart

no rest for the living

anxious and frantic

my soul fraying at the edges with

nowhere to go and

no one to help

 

my heart so heavy now

filled with rocks called

disbelief

and confusion

for this does not happen to one that we know

one of our own

 

sadness

 

frustration and

indignation for

the show got cancelled, with no warning and no reason why

leaving me with a too-small boxed set

wondering what could have been and

unsure of what to feel for

there is no formula for grief