On January 12, 2012, I put out a challenge to respond to this quote: "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." --G.K. Chesterson.
The winners are Ed Pacht, Hope Rapson and Jordan Romain (Grade 10).
Ed Pacht sent his submission with this note, "Chesterton may or may not have realized the effect his words would have, but they have often been taken as a challenge, and I have seen a number of poems about cheese from a variety of poets, all responding to him. This is my second such piece."
Spoiled milk is what it is,
emulsion broken, gone to pot,
curdled in an ugly mess,
ready, one would think to be disposed,
garbage, maybe fit for pigs,
but not for drink,
not for stirring in a drink,
or pouring on a bowl of grains,
or making smooth white sauce.
Spoiled, wasted, gone, or is it?
Like so many lives that seem destroyed,
that seem beyond all hope,
beyond redemption or reclaim,
wasted, to be forgot,
the future of spoiled milk still remains,
it has a place, it has a use,
and promises to be a blessing,
if one will squeeze it tight,
if one will form it right,
and with patience let it rot,
the right way,
in the right place,
with the right bacteria within,
with a growth of proper mold,
and that which now may be disgusting,
under treatment so repulsive,
after time becomes delight:
Cheddar, Feta, Ementhaler full of holes,
Edam, Gouda, fragrant Camembert,
Roquefort, Stilton and the many blues,
countless wonders of bad milk redeemed;
and like the patient expert chef of cheese,
there is One that looks upon the broken lives,
the spoiled and rotten spirits on this earth,
without condemning, seeing promise,
and does the work with patient loving-kindness,
to turn disaster into sheer delight
that He might enjoy in His domain
Please be nimble, please be quick!
Pepper Jack jalapeno dip
Melted on tacos or tostadas,
With hot tamales and enchiladas.
Oh, the surging warmth of spiced delight…
I mean the heartburn late tonight!
Come, writing teachers, stand alone!
Oozing, curdling, firming tone
Gouda comments, cheddar snips
Bland mozzarella quips
Havarti cubes, holey slicing
Pressing sharp to soft, enticing
Maturation from wordy bunk
Crumbs, layers, and misused chunk
Cheesing composition students
To form foam to hard evidence
So when Truth and Beauty combine
They can age in circles, flavored by time.
Oh, to defeat the meaningless shred
To protect melting, dipping minds ahead!
Not leaving the cheese to stand alone,
Come, writing teachers, seize the throne!
What is our world coming to?
Humanity crumbles like soft feta.
Earth rots like aged Roquefort.
Families have gaping Swiss cheese holes.
We don’t solve problems
We change them like melting cheddar.
We sprinkle Parmesan to cover them.
We regret missed opportunities.
We are grated by what we have done.
Too late in life, we try to amend when we are like string cheese.