A LIST poem is one comprised of a list of things–names, places, items, actions, thoughts, images, etc.  These are a favorite of mine because they’re flexible and fun, and can be written in any form you wish.  The following sonnet is the product of a story:  a year ago, our fridge went kaput.  I chose the new one based solely on the size and versatility of the shelving system in the door.  Why?  Because I am a foodie with an obsession for condiments.  One can never have too many, am I right?


My new refrigerator has a door
with roomy bins like gifts from Heaven sent
designed for jugs of milk and juice and more
but perfect for my hoard of condiments

Ketchup, mayo, salsa, barbecue,
a cache of salad dressings quite absurd,
ginger root and lemongrass in tubes,
Sri Racha, onion jam, and lemon curd

Wasabi, maple mustard, and Dijon
Molé sauce and hoisin, tangy-sweet
Tubs of curry paste and marscarpone,
Capers, kalamatas, pickled beets

The other shelves are barren, I confess
My budget garnished into nothingness

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  1. chevvy8 July 9, 2017 / 5:41 am

    A really fun write, Joan. As always I marvel at and am entertained by your adventures into new poetic forms and the creative zeal you apply. I don’t think my condiments are as orderly as yours and I bet there are more than one bottle open of the same thing. I suppose we’re always searching for the spice of life, how to make the ordinary, extraordinary. On a more serious level, I guess we often chase the little things forgetting about the basics and the things that really matter. Of course that’s just my take of a lovely List poem!😀 Have a lovely Sunday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan July 9, 2017 / 9:27 am

      Thanks, Chevvy! I’ve always been a bit of a list maker, so list poems quickly became a favorite. I think of lists as chicken salad and poetic forms as all the different breads you can put it in; the combinations are endless. To me, condiments add variety and excitement. French fries taste entirely different with malt vinegar than they do with ketchup or mayo or Sri Racha or ranch dressing or barbecue sauce. Changing it up gets me off auto-pilot, it lets me appreciate my boring French fries in a whole new way. Chew on that, and have a great Sunday! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 July 9, 2017 / 9:36 am

        Yes, I am chewing on that and my mind wanders and wonders ha!ha!ha!. A great metaphor too for so many things! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tippy Gnu July 9, 2017 / 9:29 am

    I’m wondering if you do like my wife, and take extra condiments from fast food restaurants and store them in those shelves. She never seems to use them, and after a while the packets break open, making a mess.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan July 9, 2017 / 10:57 am

      I used to, Tippy. But since they were shelf-stable, I’d put them in my glove compartment, junk drawer, or RV kitchen, and five or ten years later when I found them again, I’d throw them out. I’m trying to be “greener” these days, so I don’t take plastic packets at all if I can avoid it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marissa Bergen July 9, 2017 / 11:43 am

    My husband is the condiment king… but you do need something to put those condiments on!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan July 9, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      On the next shopping trip, I promise. If I can pry myself out of the condiment aisle. The other food groups might be scanty, but I’ve got my five-a-day fruits and veggies covered: ketchup, pickles, olives, maraschino cherries, lemon and lime juice, tamarind puree, cherry and strawberry preserves, sushi ginger, chunky salsa… 🙂


  4. L. T. Garvin, Author July 9, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    I’m a condiment girl too, Joan! Nobody should ever stand between me and ketchup, that’s for sure. I loved this fun-filled, or should I say shelf-filled humor poem. It is funny how everyday things, like the unfortunate passing of a refrigerator, can inspire fantastic poetry. By all means, don’t forget the maraschino cherries on the next shopping trip 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan July 10, 2017 / 11:57 am

      Thanks, Lana. Our last fridge was outdated and inefficient, and because the door shelves were few and narrow, excess condiments spilled (not literally) onto every shelf and corner. I couldn’t wait for it to die, and when it finally did, I went for broke and bought my fantasy model–freezer drawer on the bottom, wide glass shelves, extra-long produce drawers, a compartment big enough to hold a party tray, etc. But the big, adjustable bins in the door were what finally sold me on forking over the cash. Maybe man cannot live on condiments alone, but I bet I could do it for four or five days if I was snowed in or something. We’re never without maraschinos, need them for cocktails and pineapple upside-down cakes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Shannon Noel Brady July 13, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    “My budget garnished into nothingness” – Haha, I loved that last line. And the title is excellent. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joanne Sisco July 28, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    I had to laugh because this sounds like my fridge – well, except for the hoisin. I call that *poison sauce” … ugh.
    I’m starting to think that all those condiments in my fridge are a substitute for my ambivalence towards cooking 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan July 29, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      Thanks, Joanne! Half of my stash started out as one-time condiments: I needed it one time for a recipe and haven’t used it again since. Your hoisin comment made me laugh, my hubby says the same thing, he’s sensitive to MSG and hoisin is loaded with it. Sometimes condiments can (literally) make a meal… like cold spaghetti salad. Add some olives, banana peppers, roasted red pepper bruschetta, and a big squirt of Italian dressing, and voila, it’s dinner. And there is no take-out meal on earth that cannot be improved by adding one or more condiments. 🙂


      • Joanne Sisco July 29, 2017 / 2:29 pm

        Oh wow – you sound like a Condiment Master. I like the sound of your cold spaghetti salad. I just may have to borrow that one!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. circumstance227 August 4, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    As you know, I recently had a traumatic experience because I was forced to empty my refrigerator. I have never seen the series “The Walking Dead”, but I assume my afternoon of frig cleaning had a similar feel to it.
    I now organize my new frig according to “Use by” dates. I avoid condiments.

    Liked by 1 person

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