Riddles with Fruits

Naranjita, I strip away your
navel-blush veneer of zest and peel;
your pithy heart falls apart,
yields to me a citrus kiss.

Sunday afternoon's best savoured
like a ripened fruit, halved, scored,
turned inside-out into an exquisite,
aromatic sun.

Unswallowed, it catches halfway down
his throat, pomaceous core,
like a capybara dissolving
in the serpent's insidious maw.

Bear grenadine from Solomon's garden,
arils pressed, fermented into wine,
and cupped in goblets sweet
like my lover's breasts.

Sliced along its latitudes, this
flightless world ellipses into
translucent green, sunbursts from its
center into seed.

Do I dare to taste your sweetness,
singing each to each, afar,
only to find your heart`s core
clenched and clingstone hard?

Baskets full from an afternoon
of picking, we sat by the wild bushes
and, by the handful, fed each other
bursts of syrupy sky.

Hot as chili, sour like lime,
fish sauce salty, sugarpalm sweet,
refreshing as mak hoong -
love's Thai salad of contradiction.

Night falls, your soul's desert
blooms in white. Blossoms of fruit,
pulp of arid salvation, blood-red and
crowned with thorns.


  1. as always your thoughts are deeply appreciated. Maw, unswallowed, aromatic sun, these definitely leave an impression for me after I've read the poem. Looking forward to the rest

  2. Anonymous12:05:00 AM

    You leave a thirst and hunger like no other. Fruits, simply divine. Simply divine.

  3. I came up with the idea of writing a poem in which each of the verses is also a riddle, and the reader is invited to guess the fruit referred to.

    For those with an educational leaning, I call this technique "unnamed metaphor".

    Each verse was inspired by a friend on Twitter, who direct-messaged me a fruit. I'll list them all down sometime soon, but for example, Ellen Hopkins provided the inspiration for verse 5.

    I wrote the verse around the fruit, streamed it when done, and other friends not in the know tried to guess the fruit.

    Someone's asked if I would post the answers. Well, it's more fun if I don't, so I won't - at least not for a while.

    I'll oblige with the (easy) first verse, though: "Naranjita" is about "orange".

    Short link - http://bit.ly/s4riddlefruit

    1. 'unnamed' referring to which metaphor component: the source or the agent?

    2. It could be either, depending on how you actually craft the poem.

  4. Oh, how fun! Okay, I'll try to guess...
    9-hard one...desert fruit, some kind of edible cactus?
    (now I really want fruit!)

  5. what a delicious idea. I'm sure there's a kiwi, dragonfruit, peaches, and possibly blueberries. Perhaps a grapefruit?

  6. Beautiful--I truly adore reading and "feeling" your poetry. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Beautiful way of describing all the fruits... I can guess a few, but I others a quite tricky. I feel a lot like Gollum loosing his precocious.

  8. ha these are great...each one def a bit different...i like the world halved...the getting to the center to find a hard core...def dont judge by the outside...ha. very cool challenge today sam

  9. those are all really really cool... love the images, the sensuousness as well in some...my very fav is the Bear grenadine from Solomon's garden.... so good!
    and cool prompt as well...ha...love me a good riddle...smiles

  10. Classy illustrative, tasty, challenging; many of us used longer stanzas to fully set up the riddle; very interesting way of prompting, and obviously a form you have devoured & reconstituted brilliantly; kind of daunting.

  11. Lovely lovely words Sam, quite delicious, some kinda sexy.
    Yummy yummy yummy!
    Anna :o]

  12. And on a day when I preserved fruit...nicely done! Great riddles.

  13. a delightful cornucopia....
    [ well, somebody had to say it :-)]

  14. Anonymous4:58:00 PM

    Really a gem to read each stanza , even as a poem all by itself.>KB

  15. Anonymous5:49:00 PM

    Delicious poems, whether or not I was able to name the fruit I was enjoying. ;)

  16. What can I say, really poetic and delicious verses ~

    Thanks for the lovely challenge & post, Sam ~

  17. As long as these are fruits I'll fall for them. Great poems, Sam! I'll wait for the answers.


  18. I love fruit!! Each have such different aroma texture taste history --here I think I guessed all but three and even those are a sensuous treat. I used your model for mine, which helped quite a lot.

  19. Like the naranjita. It has a great discovery to it.

  20. These were fun to read filled with the sweetness of each bite.

  21. A lightness with a classic touch makes for great poetic riddles...these are so accurate, too!

  22. so lovely - leaves me hungry for fruit salad ;-)

  23. Each of these deserve a luscious photo to accompany the brilliant words. I bookmarked this as I really want to know the answers - I don't know my fruit as well as I should. Can't wait for the answers - I think I figured out about 3, but due to my own ignorance!

  24. Anonymous12:54:00 AM

    each a full mouthful, succulent, ripe and dripping with images

  25. vivid!mouthwatering! wonderful challenge!!

  26. Enjoyed the lovely language of your fruit riddles --look forward to reading the solutions.

  27. Anonymous3:44:00 PM

    The whole poem is a gem, but #4 is especially succulent:
    "Bear grenadine from Solomon's garden,
    arils pressed, fermented into wine,
    and cupped in goblets sweet
    like my lover's breasts."

  28. thank you for a wonderful challenge today..
    my favorites - all of them.. but if i had to choose - #s 4 and 7...(i will wait for the answers!)

  29. Well, here we go, for those of you who still want to hazard a guess, avert your eyes now...

    The fruits are, in order, orange-mango-apple-pomegranate-kiwi-peach-blueberry-papaya-dragonfruit. Go back over the verses again and see if this makes sense!

    Thank you so much for your kind words, and for humoring me in my attempt to fashion this form into a more poetic frame.


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