She offers him
­           ­a bright red capsicum,
a  lonely heart, filled
with peppery seeds.

She holds her breath,
­           bares delicate, perfumed skin,
a sharp knife’s  sting:

seeds are spilled,
­           her heart sliced and diced
into a hot stew,
a goulash of piquant passion.

Kim M. Russell, 2017


My response to dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille – Pepper

I am hosting the Qaudrille today and, as this year is the 50th anniversary of the release of ‘Sgt.  Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ by The Beatles, I have asked for a poem of exactly 44 words (not counting the title), including the word pepper.

Pepper can be a noun meaning the fruit of a climbing plant that yields pungent aromatic spice or various pungent vegetables, such as the capsicum. It can be a verb, meaning to season with pepper, to sprinkle or dot, or to pelt with missiles. We could write about something that’s peppery or pepper-and-salt, or we could write about peppercorns, pepper mills or peppermint. Does anyone remember the children’s books about Mrs Pepperpot?  Or we could take inspiration from the Beatles’ album.

55 thoughts on “Pepper

  1. An incredible utilization of 44 mere words; a piece rife with spice & metaphor. I like to think of it as a romance poem, and its duality is a creative treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “seeds are spilled, her heart sliced and diced into a hot stew, a goulash of piquant passion.” sigh… I am literally swooning right now ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “a goulash of piquant passion” —- such a wonderfully delectable descriptive phrase.
    And you know, when I think of it, the inside white ridge things of a red pepper do look like its heart! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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