My Cart 


Timothy Walsh

If enlightenment were a soup,
it would have lentils in it,
lots of lentils and garlic,
slow-cooked with carrots and tomatoes,
with a garnish of fresh parsley.
If pumpkin soup with ginger and nutmeg
            were a story,
it would tell a tale of olden times
where people lived amid burnished autumn light,
caught up in bittersweet loves
            and losses,
never fully realizing how quaint and beautiful
were the lives they led.
Other things that could be soups
are memory, music, Christmas and twilight.
For nostalgia, onion soup is best,
since root crops remember.
Can you see how we slurp up enlightenment in spoons?
Can you taste the story in your soup bowl—
the characters, the landscape, and all that happens?
Spoons are shaped to both fit a mouth and carry soup
the way our minds are shaped to anticipate
            and remember.
In September, if we all put up a few quarts
            of potato-leek,
it may carry us through till spring.
© by Timothy Walsh..
Used with the author’s permission.

Timothy Walsh grew up in New Jersey but has spent the past three decades in Wisconsin. He currently directs the Cross-College Advising Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Timothy’s latest collection of poetry is When the World Was Rear-Wheel Drive: New Jersey Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing). His inspiration comes from walking or bicycling whenever he can, and being on or near the water whenever possible—­canoeing, kayaking, sailing, or sitting by the shore. He also enjoys tending a garden of roses, climbing vines, and fruit trees while the garden tends to him. Learn more about Timothy at







Post New Comment:
Larry Schug:
Soup is one fine poem on so many levels. Good work, Timothy. If this only consisted of the first and last lines, it would still be a fine poem. Of course, I love every word in between, too.
Posted 09/30/2012 08:06 PM
Interesting ingredients in your soup.
Posted 09/30/2012 06:02 PM
Marilyn L Taylor:
Slurped up this poem with great pleasure, Tim.
Posted 09/30/2012 03:38 PM
Most delicious poem! Thanks!
Posted 09/30/2012 01:36 PM
Enjoyed spooning up these soups. Alfred Lund of the famed Lunts of Ten Chimneys had a terrific carrot soup and when the guests finished, they were given a small sliver chaser of vodka to cleanse the pallet.
Posted 09/30/2012 10:03 AM
I don't know which I love more--soup or poetry, but for sure I love this poem! thanks for both poetic and culinary inspiration...
Posted 09/30/2012 08:37 AM
Wonderful, forgiving passage: caught up in bittersweet loves and losses, never fully realizing how quaint and beautiful were the lives they led.
Posted 09/30/2012 07:17 AM
Lovely poem, Tim. I want some carrot-ginger soup right now! And I'm savoring that perfect last stanza.
Posted 09/30/2012 07:05 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.