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Strange Familiar


By Catherine Ann Cullen

Strange Familiar

Strange Familiar Details:

Published: August 2013
ISBN:      

Sample piece from Strange Familiar

In Defence of Chocolate

Eating chocolate is not a sin,
and cakes cannot be wicked,
whatever the magazines say.

Au contraire, oh éclair:
Eating chocolate is a religious experience,
unless you covet your neighbour's chocolate
or kill him for it.

Keeping chocolate is the opposite of a sin.
You can use it to honour your father and mother,
share it with your neighbour and his wife.
Making chocolate mousse is a corporal good work
that feeds the hungry,
a spiritual good work that comforts the sorrowful.
You take three eggs
and 200 grammes of dark chocolate.
You need only 170 grammes
but the other thirty keep the cook virtuous.
Separate the eggs, and whip the whites
till they are bright and stiff as archangels' wings,
or billow white as summer clouds,
cumulo nimbus, floating close to heaven,
the kind that cherubs sit upon.

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
I like to think it's named for the Virgin Mary,
because anyone blessed with an immaculate conception
can surely bathe without touching the water.

Beat your trinity of yolks into the chocolate,
and stir a little spirit in:
brandy, cointreau, if you must, Lacryma Christi.
Then, fold in the egg whites
till you have God's good air
trapped in a layer of chocolate.
As long as you're not too proud of it,
your chocolate mousse will smooth your path to heaven,
helping you to love your enemies,
and your neighbour as yourself.

Other Publications by DOGHOUSE

Flames of Light


Strange Familiar


Ten Years in the DOGHOUSE


The Sear of Wounds


Bamboo Dreams


Slow Mysteries


Outward and Return


The Angels' Share


Asking for Directions


Rus in Urbe


Meeting Mona Lisa


Watching Clouds


Notes Towards a Love Song


Between the Lines


I Shouldn't Be Telling You This


Via Crucis


Capering Moons


Where the Music Comes From


No Place Like It


The Moon Canoe


An Exaltation of Starlings


Crossroads - Folklore from Kerry


Touching Stones


Arthur O'Leary & Arthur Sullivan
Musical Journeys from Kerry to the Heart of Victorian England


Slipping Letters Beneath the Sea


Canals of memory


New Room Windows


Down The Sunlit Hall


Kairos


Lifetimes - Folklore from Kerry


Planting a Mouth


Morning at Mount Ring


A Bone In My Throat


PULSE - Writings on Sliabh Luachra


Whales off the Coast Of My Bed


The Moon's Daughter


The DOGHOUSE Book of Ballad Poems


I Met A Man...


The Waiting Room


Apples in Winter


FINGERPRINTS (On Canvas)


Vortex


Shadows Bloom


Both Sides Now


Loose Head


Song of the Midnight Fox


Heart of Kerry