Sunday, May 6, 2012

Poetry and Rum Cake

I’ve never asked for payment to read a few of my poems to an audience. As long as I have gas money (which is becoming increasingly difficult these days), I’m willing and ready to share my love of poetry and my poems to anyone who will listen. The way I look at it, the more I promote poetry, the better the likelihood that someone will pick up a pen and pad and share their own poems.

Why? It’s simple. I am of the opinion that the world would be a better place if everyone wrote poetry. There certainly would be more people in touch with their feelings; empathy would be a common trait for everyone. Dialogue, whether in the form of a poem, prose or spoken word, would be less muddled. Maybe poetry receives a bum rap because of our tendency to mask our feelings. Maybe we’d understand and recognize each other more easily, as human beings who share a remarkable world, if we’d write or read an occasional poem.

Do I think poetry can fix the world’s problems? No. But I firmly believe it could be a tool to work toward that goal.

I recently had the pleasure of reading a few poems to an English class at the college where I work. The class was small but receptive to my poems. I enjoyed the smiles and the laughs that the more humorous poems brought from the audience. After reading my Southern Legitimacy Statement #5, a student spoke-up and said, “I like that”, and I could tell that something in that poem was relatable to him.

Now that’s payment that’s better than money. :)

Cissy Murphy, the instructor for the class, gifted me after the reading with a very nice card, money (she really shouldn’t have!) and a gem of a family cookbook. She’s given me permission to share a few of the recipes here, on The Frugal Poet web site.

And so, without further ado, let me share the first recipe I prepared from her family cookbook:

Bacardi Rum Cake

1 box or package of yellow cake mix
1 (3 ½ ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup Bacardi Dark Rum
½ cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour (I used Baker’s Joy cooking spray and did not flour) a 10 inch tube pan. Mix ingredients. Pour into a pan. Bake for one hour. Cool the pan for 25 minutes then invert onto a serving plate. Prick top (I used a fork). Spoon and brush rum glaze over cake.

Rum Glaze

¼ lb butter
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark rum

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in rum.

One note: prior to pouring the mix into the tube pan, I added brown sugar and pecans to the pan, right on top of the Baker’s Joy that I’d just sprayed. Once inverted, this gave me a topping of brown sugar and pecans.

I’ll close with an untitled haibun I penned recently. Have a great week!

for the second time this week, i pluck a honeysuckle blossom, pinch the bottom, pull the stem through, exposing a tiny droplet of nectar at the base of the blossom. i extend my tongue, savor its sweetness like a fine wine.

haiku poets are more attune and appreciative of the seasons. it is a bonus gift for having chosen haikai no michi, or the Way of Haiku. i’d go so far as to say that we become one with the natural world and the seasons and are keenly aware that we are transient beings existing only for a moment in time...

solar flares...
a new sunspot
on my skin


  1. love the haibun and will try the cake on company. It sounds too good and too fattening to make just for the two of us!!

    1. The next time you and Ray are in town, guess what? You're getting rum cake!

  2. This brings back so many memories of my Mom... To me it's the only way to consume rum. The aroma is out of this world.

    1. Well, I'd say it's one of my favorite ways to consume rum, Merrill.

      I wish you lived closer. We'd sit around in rocking chairs consuming rum and talking poetry! :)