Yesterday’s rain informs me I’m born of luck and blended
strands, of hope and words forged before a common tongue emerged.

Of my first two languages only one still breathes.

The other manifests in exile, in blurred images and hummed tunes.

Rice is my staple. I eat it without regarding its English etymology,
its transition from Sanskrit to Persian and Greek, to Latin, to French.

Flooding is not mandatory in cultivation, but requires less effort.

Rice contains arsenic, yet I crave its polished grains.

In my monolingual home we still call it gohan, literally cooked rice, or meal.
The kanji character, bei, also means America.

Representing a field, it symbolizes abundance, security, and fertility.

Three rice plants tied with a rope. Many. Life’s foundation.

To understand Japan, look to rice. To appreciate breadth, think gohan.
Humility exemplified: sake consists of rice, water and mold.

The words we shape predicate a communion of aesthetics.

Miscomprehension inhabits consequence.

* * *

“Rice” appeared here in June 2015, and in my chapbook, The Circumference of Other, which is included in Ides, a one-volume collection of fifteen chapbooks published by Silver Birch Press and available on Amazon.com.


24 thoughts on “Rice

  1. Looks like arsenic in the water naturally is the usual source. A simple fix is to buy rice grown in areas without the problem, assuming you can find it. A good start page: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_contamination_of_groundwater
    Interesting that it’s inorganic arsenic that causes most troubles (with mercury the bulk of problem is from methylmercury, inorganic types less hazardous) (mercury in food/water is primarily from human activity [coal burning, et al]). Additional fun fact: treatment with lithium salts of bipolar disorder has issues, and can cause kidney failure. A study has also found that places with naturally present lithium in water have a lower rate of suicide in the entire population.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Rice | SEO

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