Sunday, March 30, 2014

for that bowl of rice

This is one of my favourite poems. I wrote it on one angry day, in one sitting, with almost no revisions. I still have that yellowed page in the journal I wrote in, the handwriting heavy and scrawly. I loved how the way it turned out, in choppy little lines, as if reflecting the mood I was in when I wrote it originally.

image from

for that bowl of rice

it was the sum
of all the little
tiring journeys
adding up
or the
proverbial straw

i do not really
mean to
raise my voice

i smile
who knows the lead in my heart
i trudge miles
for that bowl of rice
not for me alone.

written 13.09.92
revised 16.06.07

“These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” 

― Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Shared on Poetry Pantry #195 at Poets United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2014

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Blogger Sumana Roy said...

Oh... this is profound..

31 March, 2014 00:12  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, Sumana! it is more of anger. :)

31 March, 2014 00:18  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

i feel you is hard at times....and we are not just providing for ourselves and it can feel so desperate at times as well in the work we do....can relate to the stress behind this one...

its cool you have held onto this page....

31 March, 2014 00:31  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

"I smile, but who knows the lead in my heart." I do, Lee San, for I smile, too.....I especially love "I trudge miles for that bowl of rice." I love this poem!

31 March, 2014 03:03  
Blogger Gabriella said...

I like how the anger can be felt seething ever so subtly behind the short lines and your smiling facade. A very good poem!

31 March, 2014 03:26  
Blogger R.K. Garon said...

Excellent! ...and you know the way to my smile, introducing on exit, Robert Frost :-)

31 March, 2014 04:15  
Blogger Mary said...

I hear you, dSnake. I hear you loud and clear. I do feel the anger.

31 March, 2014 07:13  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I love this poem. Sometimes I get comatosed with with all the peace and love so it is good to see a spark of anger:)

31 March, 2014 08:51  
Blogger humbird said...

It feels as very generous person here...on the hard journey of soul...

31 March, 2014 09:22  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes, it's all the stress that's stretched to breaking point that wrote this poem. you thought what all you have done is not appreciated, you blew up and then regretted it. :(


thank you! I love this poem too, for all its emotions. the smile is to try to mitigate the situation. :)


thank you! i like to write angry poems. :)


where's the smiley sticker?
ah, Robert Frost. i used the ending of that poem, to compare to my still long journey (i hope).


so the poem works! thank you!


haha! i go ballistic once a while. (maybe more than once a while) :D


thanks for the visit!
well, just working to put food on the table. :)

31 March, 2014 15:56  
Blogger magiceye said...

Wonderfully expressed!

01 April, 2014 09:33  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, my friend! :)

01 April, 2014 22:00  

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