Cabbages and Kinks #poetry #health

Ok so it’s chard not cabbage but it is green, it’s healthy and full of vitamins and grows easily in our South London micro climate. But I don’t eat enough. Greens. Never really did. The Archaeologist, contrarian that he was, eschewed the traditional vegetables favoured by children  in favour of Brussel sprouts which have universally turned small mouths into sealed capsules. Me, I looked on these gangrenous conkers with utter horror.

Cabbage, though, was the worst. The dark green seaweedle mush that was slapped on my school dinner plate with all the appeal of a dead otter awaiting dissection had to be the pits but even the crispy home grown version prepared by mum left a lot to be desired.

Still we grow up and understand expectations; turning up at work without being nagged out of bed, picking up wet towels and eating greens: these are the foundations of civilised society, up there with support for human rights and an appreciation of custard creams. I’m a reluctant convert but I am onside nowadays.

Despite this, when a friend suggested a new diet that involved just cabbage for a period I baulked. I’m really not sure about the consequences of this on the atmosphere in and around south London. I don’t want to be part of a climate change problem.  I really can’t imagine anyone wanting to try this out. No, I don’t get such a strange love affair.

Which is a silly, if rather obvious segue to a poem I wrote about Pissaro and his love affair with the cabbage a while back. See what you think



If you listen to the fashionistas of the modern culinary arts,

When they describe perfect roasts or sumptuous lemon tarts,

You’ll hear their words of praise for all those fruits and meat

And how to meld their flavours, comingling savoury with sweet.


And even though they often play an important supporting role,

The humble vegetable is still more courtesan than prole.

The muscular potato or statuesque carrot

Are stables of the table, more often praised than not.


But down amongst the also rans, the forgotten men of food

Whose highest praise is usually ‘Eat up, they’ll do you good’

Besides that distorted vege-beast, the emblem of our drab age

Reviled at school, the pauper’s feast, there rests the simple cabbage.


Let us look beyond this unfairly labelled legume

And restore it to its rightful place where it once more may bloom

Like a cleaned, restored Old Master, a refurbished classic car

As good as oil of castor, the five star brassica.


Some may moan and cry for help

And groan out loud if offered kelp.

While others quail, and kick and shout

And turn quite pale, at the thought of sprouts.

And then there’s those, who duck and cower

And turn up their nose at the cauliflower.

And this same team will not risk the mockery

Of being seen enjoying broccoli.


But there are men, free men prepared to stand

And defend, till death, these fruits of our land.

Monet, Renoir, the bearded Pissarro

They didn’t paint the pea or the marrow.


No, for them, there was no finer joy

Than to fix, on canvas, the sweet green savoy.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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29 Responses to Cabbages and Kinks #poetry #health

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your post – thank you very much. While I must admit, I do love all those vegetables, I love your verbal veggie assessment so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. noelleg44 says:

    What an ode to veggies all of which I love. Cabbage is on my menu regularly, but then I was seriously introduced to it when we lived in Prague and it was delicious. As for Swiss chard, it puts me in seventh heaven. Love it. Great work, Geoff. Give cabbage a second chance!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear me you are not right. However, that is one of things I enjoy most about you. Too funny!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ritu says:

    Vegetably wonderful His Geoffleship !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s the best Ode to Veg I’ve ever seen! Love me a bit of cabbage, particularly when it has been seasoned well and had a bit of butter on it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. trifflepudling says:

    I kept looking for a Ray Davies connection :D! …
    I like your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know that I am one of those who tends to encourage the consumption of the green stuff but having had an encounter once with half a slug.. not knowing whence the other half went…. I usually wash most of the green out of it. Nice Ode….x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ruth says:

    I’m not keen on greens either – school dinners have a lot to answer for! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lol, well done sir! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your Dad trained you well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Norah says:

    I like my greens. They deserve their own poem. But eaten in quantity, they could certainly contribute to climate change – and maybe not just the heat.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. willowdot21 says:

    I am turning greens……… 😉😁

    Liked by 1 person

  13. HaHA! Vegi good Geoff! I am not keen on sprouts or savoy either, but like a good girl I eat them on occasion!
    As for the cabbage diet, hmmm not sure it would work for me (or rather those around me), best leave it for those that live alone in very remote places!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Charli Mills says:

    Not much on cabbage, but have to agree with your brother on brussels sprouts. I love them best halved on a baking sheet, sprinkled with olive oil, dusted with cayenne and cumin, salted to taste and roasted in the oven. Fun poem in support of veggies. As to the cabbage diet — recall that being a stewed pot of cabbage, tomatoes and such before a surgery to clear the system. Fondly known as poop soup. Funny if it’s been altered into a diet! Just eat greens daily and cake on occasion (or is it the other way around?).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This poem was so fun! I loved the flow of it as well as the content. It made a great read! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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