In praise of the kitchen-studio

she created beauty
in strife, aftermath
of genocide, she
escaped but the
heart does not cease
to know the lament
of the forefathers
and foremothers
of the old country

at eleven she made
paper roses, and
sold them in Cambridge, Mass
brought the reapings
to her family

at seventy-three, the year
before her death, she still
was bringing flowers to life
after my father died –
nothing could stop her
arranging living petals
into modern art

our kitchen was
transformed into an
art studio, either
cooking with color
or creating color
through sculptural
objects and plant life

I have kept the tradition
of my artist-mother
knocked out a wall
in my kitchen/dining area
and put a wooden floor in
it doubles as a dance
studio, torso ecstatic

kitchens are places
of love: creating food, art,
dance, exchange of hearts
through flesh
and always, always
there shall be flowers

there is strife too in kitchens –
tears and conflict
but connections usually
win out, the ripeness
of beauty over a life-time

we are made and
re-made in the
colors of soul
brought to brilliance
in ordinary living.

~ Celeste Snowber

Celeste Snowber is a dancer, writer, and educator who is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Celeste has written numerous essays and poetry in various journals and chapters in books in the areas of the arts as well as is author of Embodied Prayer which is in its second edition. She is presently finishing a book, entitled, Sexy from the inside out, and creating site-specific performances near the ocean, which include dance and poetry. Celeste lives outside Vancouver and is the mother of three sons, all a tribe of artists, including a few teenagers.

2 Responses to “In praise of the kitchen-studio”

  1. Thank you for sharing this poem. Its organic feel and colorful portriat bring me back to memories and snapshots from my own childhood.

  2. Yum. As usual Celeste you make poetry out of passion and bring clarity to complexity. I love your writing!

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