The Cinnamon Peeler - by Michael Ondaatje  

supinefeline 51M
660 posts
10/6/2005 12:22 am

Last Read:
2/19/2008 12:53 pm

The Cinnamon Peeler - by Michael Ondaatje

THE CINNAMON PEELER by Michael Ondaatje


If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
-- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.

And you searched your arms

for the missing perfume.

and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter

left with no trace

as if not spoken to in an act of love

as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.

__Huntress__ 55M/57F

10/6/2005 3:31 am

This is absolutely beautiful ... please, please let me know where you found this ... !

supinefeline 51M

10/6/2005 6:02 pm

huntress, michael oondatje is sri lankan-canadian and is the writer of "the english patient." this poem is from his book called "running in the family". i think it is beautiful too so i am glad you liked it!

__Huntress__ 55M/57F

10/17/2005 7:58 pm

Thank you Supine ... I think I could read this over and over again and never tire of it ... {=}

supinefeline 51M

10/18/2005 4:42 am

You are more than welcome Huntress. M. Oondatje's writing is magnificent and this poem, and indeed the book "Running in the Family" are well worth your time! I believe "The Cinnamon Peeler" is also the name of his book of poetry! You should also read "The English Patient" but avoid the movie like the plague as it was crap!
Happy hunting!

sweetgirlschool 42F

2/19/2008 8:37 am

What a heavenly poem so beautifully written.
I must look up his books, thank you very
much for the introduction....

supinefeline 51M

2/19/2008 12:53 pm

avec pleasure mon cher. sf

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