By now you have come to rely on Women’s Voices for Change for advice about healthy eating and keeping to a healthy weight. Today, though, we turn to another healthy choice—laughter. It is a pleasure to present one of the many brilliant light verses for which the dazzling Caryl Avery is justly known and praised. It is so very appropriate for this season of delicious food and delicious company.  Bon Appétit! (We’ll talk about our weight next year.)

The Gourmand’s Lament

By Caryl S. Avery

So much food,
So little time,
And I’m not getting younger.
So I chewed
Some food sublime
To satisfy my hunger:

sweet potato carrots vichy
crispy sweetbreads cervelles squishy
eggs in aspic chocolate mousse
foie gras stuffing pfeffernusse
osso buco bagels blini
turnips turkey tetrazzini
goulash goobers escargots
tzimmes hummus haricots
moo goo gai pan jambalaya
ratatouille spam papaya
suckling pig with maple glaze
duckling cold with mayonnaise
rocky road rum chunky monkey
legs of toad some fast food junky
salmon sardines snapper sole
swordfish as a capper (whole)
kugel kreplachs kasha knishes
sent by Sadie mit best vishes
fricadelles two fricassees
chanterelles three BLT’s
chicken livers—chopped—with matzo
lots ’o corn well-popped—or not so
pumpkin pecan pizza pie
ti martoonies extra dry
mascarpone mozzarella
baby oysters rockefella
lean cuisine’s beef stroganoff
stouffer’s noodles romanoff
shabu shabu sukiyaki
served with good not schlocky sake
quesadillas quiche lorraine
naan tortillas beef lo mein
scallopine milanese
pasta pesto genovese

chops chalupa brown bread borscht
schnapps my Uncle Ed endorscht
wienerschnitzel enchilada
empanada…yada yada

So much food,
So little time,
The thought keeps on repeating.
Nights I’ve stewed
On food sublime:
Life needs a second seating.


Printed with permission of the poet.

Caryl Avery has been an award-winning journalist, magazine editor, advertising copywriter, poet, and creative writer for more than 30 years.  Former senior editor and psychology director at SELF Magazine, she has published articles in virtually all the top magazines, from New York magazine to Vogue. Today, after nearly a decade as Executive Editor and advertising copywriter at Clinique, Caryl heads her own shop in New York as a creative consultant and copywriter. She recently returned to two old loves—light verse and lyric writing. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and  she is currently writing a book of culinary light verse called Eggs Benedict Arnold. Her parody revue CUTS: An Uplifting Musical, for which she is seeking additional producers, recently played to sold-out houses at the York Theatre in New York City. [email protected]

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  • Vaughn Greene February 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This is just fabulous! So much FUN to read aloud, and I can’t stop smiling! Favorite line … ” ti martoonies extra dry “.

    Thank you for sharing this delightful piece.

  • ellen sue soicer jacobson December 31, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Absolutely Delicious!!!

  • Patricia Volin December 31, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Fun and clever, as always, Caryl. Beautiful picture too. You sure you’re “not getting younger”?

  • Diane Dettmann December 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Caryl, Enjoyed your whimsical “The Gourmand’s Lament”. I’m not much of a poet or a cook. I don’t even recognize some of the foods, but the illiteration, flow and splashes of humor kept me engaged. Totally agree, “so little time…not getting younger.” I wish life had a “second seating.”! Author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels