The Stuff of Life

Gone are the days when I had the force
to pummel the dough into shape.
Gone are the days when the bread in the house
was all mine.
Now are the days of disaster, ageing bones
of fragile alabaster,
too frail for the weekly bake.

The bread that we eat now is plastic,
shaped by other hands.
The bread that we eat now
is not made by me
but by other people who don’t take such care,
loving the feel of live swelling food
rising to desirable altitude, light as air.

Gone are the days of gourmandise,
for the treat that’s mainly aroma,
bewitching the household with appetite
for good old-fashioned bread and cheese.



Grace at dVerse poetics gives us two fantastic poems about BREAD and asks us to write our own.  On my blog, one of the most visited poems is this one in which I take you through the making from start to eating.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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31 Responses to The Stuff of Life

  1. Abhra says:

    You put it beautifully – and that amazing aroma, all that is flowing across your words so lively. Sorry – took longer to visit your entry for the prompt.


  2. Sabio Lantz says:

    Gone are those days for you
    But they live on in others, and in your mind
    Now are the days when you paint them for us
    and share another part of this unavoidable life.
    Nicely done


  3. It’s not only in bread that’s in this condition, but food and relationships of all sorts.



  4. Ron. says:

    Oh, Viv. This piece, and yesterday’s “Ruinous Rhyme” are totally bumming me out. I think that, at present anyway, we’re on the same vibe. Last night, due to some (thankfully temporary) dental issues most common to us elders, I was unable to handle the crust on the real bread, had to settle for a couple slices of the “plastic” stuff instead. Oy.

    Things’ll pick up some, I hope, for both of us. Meanwhile, I’ll remain content to read your current stellar work. Salute!


    • I’m sorry to depress you, and sorry for your dental problems – Jock had a tooth out today and is also feeling down in the dumps. I’m sure we’ll all pick up when the year turns and Spring is in sight.


  5. kaykuala h says:

    bewitching the household with appetite
    for good old-fashioned bread and cheese.

    Gone are the days of luxury in the kitchen when anything home baked are desired and deserving to those around! Great lines Viv!



  6. MarinaSofia says:

    You’ve made me want to go back to baking my own bread again – I seldom get the time now. My favourite time of day is coming back from the boulangerie with a still-warm loaf (and eating half of it on the way home). I love the way you distinguish between the care and love that has gone into your home-made bread and the one in the stores.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prajakta says:

    At times more than the bread is the process that we put into baking it. We know what our bread stands for and what it means to feed our hungry family with it.
    Beautiful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think that even the best bakery bread can’t compare to the bread you bake yourself. The kneading, and to know your hands have felt the dough.. That’s what is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I so know the feeling…..I am too tired to bake much of anything any more and store bought just doesnt cut it………..loved this, Viv.


  10. claudia says:

    some of the bread that you get even in bakeries tastes like plastic…ugh… luckily we have one in town that still bakes by hand… i used to bake our own bread when the kids were small… now with a fulltime job it’s a matter of time… sometimes though i take the time…and it’s so rewarding… and what bri says above about providing and the graciousness in being provided for..i second this though i can imagine that it is tough

    Liked by 1 person

  11. billgncs says:

    Still when you could you made it – that’s richly living


  12. I know, though, that even though you can no longer knead and bake your own bread, that being with you, at your table, enjoying your presence, your wit and charm is a gift beyond measure. I miss you two. A lot.


  13. Yes, the love seeps into the bread you make and gives it a distinct taste. All these poems have me wanting to bake again.


  14. Glenn Buttkus says:

    I like the analogies Brian provided, for cooking, like gardening, like furniture-making by hand, is a unique passion that each of us individually embrace, providing varying but personal results. Nostalgia runs rampant out on the dVerse trail tonight; think I will go toast up some cinnamon bread my wife baked this week.


  15. The poem you have created taste as good on my tongue as I am sure your bread would. Cheers!


  16. Grace says:

    Gone are those days when bread was made with loving hands ~ Nowadays these commercial bread don’t taste the same ~ Give me an old-fashioned bread and cheese, smiles ~


  17. Oh, yes…sigh…such goodness…there’s nothing so comforting and appetite enticing as fresh baked bread. The bitter sweet of this poem is touching…I hope someone close brings bread to you to bake in your oven. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Gabriella says:

    I’d rather do without bread than eat plastic bread. I hope that sometimes my homemade bread sometimes provides gourmandise.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. wolfsrosebud says:

    hopefully, the teeth have remained


  20. Mary says:

    Sad about the differences in bread, Viv. I assume you are in France, and you should be able to find good bread, shouldn’t you? (In the US it is more difficult, but still possible.) Plastic bread is truly awful.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. So true–though I was never a baker myself. We are not only less energetic, but it seems that time intrudes on so many lives, preventing them from simple pleasure such as these. What I miss most–the fragrance, and then slapping butter onto that nice hot first slice. Oh dear.


  22. brian miller says:

    will their bread ever live up to ours? no, not really….there is a beauty of putting your hands to creation…to gardening…or to cooking, baking…to not be able to, would be rather sad…though on some level this makes me think too on how in our day we provide…and there is a graciousness as well in being provided for…


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