what we eat

Hi, all.  This piece sprang from a conversation I had with a friend about food/lifestyle choices.  I do not judge anyone for their choices–this is just an exploration.  I will try very hard to offend everyone equally in this poem.

there is asceticism in eating
or not eating, the laws for not mixing
meat & dairy & all those prohibitions
& different dishes
the story of daniel the slave
eating pulse to obey
even in babylon

wiped away when Christ said
it is what comes out of  mouths
that makes us unclean, not
the flesh we take in

the halal & haraam

food, what we eat
is spiritual,
embodiment
at its most basic–
practical worship

saying grace before meals
the body & blood of communion
ritual cannibalism

if i could i would root
and shape substance from sunlight
& rainwater, like plants do;
grow where nothing dies
to feed this need for matter,
the small blocks that I am
always hungry,

but i cannot draw substance
from nothing, and this mouth
loves the taste of meat. prometheus
brought fire and I will use it

primitive, primal
that hunter under my skin
thanks the givers–not the sanitized
wrapped packages but the lives,
the furred & feathered

there can be no disconnect
from these lives i swallow

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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29 Responses to what we eat

  1. annotating60 says:

    I especially liked your last two lines. It is a resonating image. KB

  2. rebecca2000 says:

    I love this. Don’t you love it when you’re inspired from a fun conversation?

  3. Trent Lewin says:

    Seldom has a thumping cavewoman written such lovely poetry.

    • me like meat. you catch me meat, me cook it. me one small step above monkey, me think. Nah–monkey has me beat–he poops on keyboards.

      • Trent Lewin says:

        You rock Susan. If for no other reason than you get my jokes. But there are many other reasons. I am also big carnivore. Much bigger than monkey. Mildly cleaner too.

        • :)

          You rock too, for making me laugh and think simultaneously. By the way, the getting of my jokes is high on my list of what I expect from my friends and sig other. Nothing worse than that “huh?” look on a face I once thought intelligent, but I digress…I am far too clean to be a convincing cavewoman.

          • Trent Lewin says:

            Yeah I hear you there. I’m not positive my wife fully gets my odder bits of humour but she seems to tolerate them. But she is a very strange duck. Well, one day you will have to come over and I will cook you a hardcore prime rib and ply some insane, ranting spoken word out of you with the healthy draughts of a wine skin. My wife will laugh – she doesn’t partake of wine or such meat. Odd duck indeed. Have you ever considered a poem about the cave woman in the antique shop? She is wearing wooden shoes and her purse is full of rocks so that she can protect herself against the mob, but rocks are a poor choice for self protection when perusing antiques.

            • Oh–that sounds like a fun evening, and one I would not want to miss. I want to meet the woman who does not partake of wine or red meat, and tolerates your sense of humor. I’m in–or you guys can skip across the border, kids in tow, and I will listen to insane prose provoked by sangria and NY strip ;)

              If we ever do this, God bless the adults & children who will have to witness this…

              Oh, I like the cavewoman in an antique shop & will have to sleep on that idea.

  4. Food for thought . . .

  5. sonofwalt says:

    Ah, yes. I do love the native American way of thanking the soul of the deer for giving its life for our sustenance. There is no disconnect, as you say.

  6. nelle says:

    Not a pleasant thing, what the universe presented us as our options for nutrition. Perhaps enlightenment comes when we find a way to do no harm yet sustain ourselves.

  7. You are what you eat, they say. Makes me wonder about some people what the hell it was that they ate. :-)

  8. Pingback: WHAT WE EAT | edge of frog

  9. 17rick47 says:

    A link to this poem can now be found at ‘edge of frog’
    http://edgeoffrog.wordpress.com/

  10. Green Speck says:

    An unusual meal I would say ;-)

  11. quite an eclectic approach towards food consumption with meaning on so many levels!

  12. ‘primitive, primal
    that hunter under my skin
    thanks the givers–not the sanitized
    wrapped packages but the lives,
    the furred & feathered’

    You are good, Susan. :-)

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