Riff on a green tomato

Like a lot of us, I’m finding Sydney’s current lockdown more of challenge than the one last year. My mood goes up and down and writing has become a frustratingly slow process. As someone who works mostly from home I know that my professional life is far less disrupted than many people’s. And it’s not as if the projects I’m working on aren’t enjoyable, aren’t ideas to which I’m deeply committed …

Times like this, I remind myself that the counterpoint to ‘work from home’ and ‘stay at home’ orders is the outsourcing of risk—to supermarket staff, to those delivering our Uber Eats and online shopping orders, and to others in the food supply chain deemed ‘essential workers’.

To combat low spirits and what I hope is a temporary lack of application, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. And I’ve also set myself a food-related task: to write 100 words a day  about any vaguely culinary experience, idea, or mash up thereof, that happens or pops into my head that day.

The piece below – Riff on a green tomato – was written on 29 July, when there were a bunch of cops patrolling the park and harbour foreshore.

How it got there
body half buried

in the mulch
whose it was

nobody knows
not the solo picnicker

who scoffed a sausage roll and left
a snow of flaky pastry

not the essential worker
who blew some leaves

cut up some fallen limbs
and scooted off

looks to me like
it entered the earth

at some point
in the last few hours –

an accident, perhaps a fall
from someone’s shopping bag

was it a deliberate act
abandoned for its unwelcome colour

or how about this for a plot
the green tomato is the offspring

of a plant seeded
from the discarded

scraps of someone’s last summer barbeque.
Case closed.

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