‘The fish dance/ When they come to us’: Food & Culture Poems

“I think cultures can clash and cultures can meld.”-Martha Stewart on her cooking show and relationship with rapper, Snoop Dogg.

As we continue distance instruction, students at Taft Freshman Academy continue to generate beautiful poems!  This week’s poems are inspired by Li-Young Lee’s food poem, From Blossoms.  Students explored food, memory, and personal appeal.

Lesson Note: ‘In a time of crisis, poetry can help focus our fears and transform ‘noise into music’ … In effect, poetry “aims in every possible way to reaffirm the world that we actually inhabit, in all its vital, messy, beautiful, tragic reality. Mar 10, 2020, The Washington Post.


Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period One

By Alexander C.

The day that went well,
A test gone right,
A friendship made.

The day done,
The bank had one more customer,
The store another buyer.

The taste of a delicious dinner
With succulent ground beef
And cold Colby jack cheese
As well as hot but savory beans
A day done good.

Chimney cake (from poland)
By benjamin m.

For this story, We go around the globe,
Into the heart of the polish city, Krakow.

In a small plaza of food vendors, lays one specific food truck
One which has a food, that is like no other.

Now, you may think you know what chimney cake is, what it looks like
But, Around the globe, we do it differently

A chimney cake, but it is like a chimney still,
And has the most godlike flavor

And then, the holy grail of chimney cakes.

The cone,
Exactly the same as a regular chimney cake.except its in a cone shape, and on the inside

Legendary soft serve topped off with chocolate drizzle
And an oreo stuck into it

If you think it sounds good, just wait until you see it in person…

Fresh out of the oven
Evelyn B.

I roll out the dough
And layer on the silky butter
The rolling pin glides across
Its folded and tucked
Smoothed and glazed
And the mouthwatering croissants go in

The ambrosial scent wafts through my home
They begin to brown, puff, and flake
I rush downstairs when the timer dings
To whip open the oven and take a whiff

They taste as I’d imagined
With just the right amount of butter
Velvety and delicate
Fresh out of the oven

Ms. Taylor, 9th Grade

Period Two


Memories Divine
By Anwita S.

Mom bringing the rice and chicken
Me and my sibling
fighting over which one have more than the other
The spices smell coming through our feelings
The salty smell
Me stealing his chicken
Us arguing that
I took this chicken
The salty smell of the rice
Talking about our day
My brother making jokes
To make me feel good
Even if i had a bad day
Or not
Us watching a horror movie
So my brother could scare me
And if i spill something
I had to clean it up
Him laughing cause i spilled my food
Us joking round
And laughing

By Julian G.

Every grain of rice
Smooth and moist
Dry cinnamon sprinkled

Cold and generous
Of her to allow
Me to eat and
Rice pudding

By Joseph K.

The sound of people, the guy selling peanuts outside the park.

“Cheaper outside!” I can smell the hot dogs already.

I can’t wait to get to my seat. I hope he comes soon.

The crack of the bat from pre-game practice.

There he is, the hot dog guy. He yells out

To the fans, Hot Dogs. I wave my hand.

He comes over to me and I get my dog.

I unwrap my food, there it is. A hot dog.

I take my first bite and enjoy it. Even in a snowy winter

I can feel the warm day and a game with a single dog.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period Four

By Chloe Anne T.

Walk in,
a little jingle
with an inviting smell:
a symphony of smoky steak
with hints of salted caramel
and a sweet apple kick.

Step inside,
sit down
and savor
not only the simmering hot,
but the summer shade
with the wise
listen and see
story after story
some hour after hour
until you find yourself
scouring the bone for more.

Don’t be afraid,
and as they say
give it a try,
a sweet and savory surprise––
an adventure awaits you.

Family Soup
By Larry F.

The pot brimming
With the golden salty liquid
Orange carrots,
Chopped to long yet thick bits
Floating on the golden sea.
Pasta acting as little canoes with
Waves washing over as
The pot bounces
From children running and playing.

Then the lid opens
Steam rushes out and tries to
Conquer the surrounding air.
Soup flows to white bowls
With flowers.

Family get together
TV blasting soccer footage
We talk and laugh
The golden liquid washing into my mouth
A beautiful mix of sweet carrot,
Smooth pasta,
And golden, salty broth

A beautiful night this is
Family getting together
As i look at the starless night sky
With the only stars being street lights
And buildings with others
Also having their fun.

By Louis O.

The spheres of delight
Giving of mouth-watering scents
Enough to make your tastebuds dance
Created with love

Spheres of delight
Like a star in the sky
Filled with beef
And love

One bite after another
Each one
With a soft crunch
From the seasoned

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period Six

By Andrew H.

The fish dance
When they come to us
It’s always good when they are around

The soy sauce comes with as well
They give me some nourishment as I order four more
The fish arrive,

By Robert M.

On first sight I knew what it was
Each string crafted to perfection
The sauce has never been made better

Lighting up moods just from a glance
The first bite is a gift from above as
my mouth begins to water
Feels like a dream, one I wish not to wake up from

By Chloe Wong

The dim sum cart comes by
We are patiently waiting for our food
The cart is full of delicious food
But my favorite is the chicken feet
Red, saucey, and spicey
Biting off the soft fleshy parts
When we are done we order more
Once we are stuffed we pay and pack up leftovers
My mom puts the leftover chicken feet in the box
I know I am taking it to school the next day
At school, people look over and ask me what I’m eating
They seem disgusted by it
But what they don’t know is how delicious they are

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
Period Seven

By Alejandro C.

The hot delicious
Tasty steamy pizza
Is so good

The cheesy pizza
The flavor on it
So good mmm

The pepperoni
And the cheese
In my mouth
So good.







“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.