Last Walls is a partnership between Thiscene Media and If Walls Could Talk. Every week, organizer Melizarani T. Selva gives us one of her favorite poems from the last If Walls Could Talk and we put it up on the site.
This poem was performed at IF WALLS COULD TALK vol. 29 feat Muhammad Haji Salleh & Heerraa, on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
by Cat Brogan
Sometimes you just need a starter,
A push, to get the line to flow,
To get the dough to grow,
A leg up, a tuner for the key,
An introduction to the crew
And after that, it’s up to you
To mix, kneed, fold,
Pay attention to time, heat, humidity
And watch it rise
From something as simple as flour, starter, water
Into something so tasty it’s gone in half an hour
And then you’re the keeper of the culture,
Entrusted with the starter
That must be kept living,
Refrigerated or fed,
Divided and used
Or thrown in the absence of a recipient
When time will not allow space or tools
To make use of magic jars
Passed down the generations.
This bread of life that is living
In the rhythm of your knuckles,
In the sweat of your song,
In the tap of your heel as you keep tradition
Breathing, bubbling, rising.
Cat Brogan is a poet and spoken word educator who can’t get enough of Malaysia.