Stone Soup: A Villanelle by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé


Stone Soup: A Villanelle
by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

The script of the three nomads’ empty satchels
The script of the passing cobbler with his cart
The script of light from the sash window

The script of tending to the dried oak and fire
The script of the prolonged introit in refrain
The script of stuffing bitter melons at home

The script of the butcher in a double take
The script of rock pigeons bound at the feet
The script of the open bottle from Rheingau

The script of scrubbing copper in the square
The script of the glazed look of the widow
The script of cloves and tarragon in a bag

The script of basil and dill in cupped hands
The script of stonemasons tossing in nickels
The script of tulipwood buttons rising to float

The script of sweet potatoes and peppercorns
The script of skipping stones at the bottom
The script of four borrowed bocote ladles
The script of minstrels singing for their supper

(Based on the German folk tale “Stone Soup”.)

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, with a theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame, he is the recipient of the Tom Howard High Distinction Award, Tupelo Press Poetry Project Honorable Mention, Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award, and Singapore Internationale Grant. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his commemorative pieces housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.