08 February 2016

As with rice grains

Art of poetry

As with
husked rice, a poem
is pounded and polished,
and then winnowed, and then
offered to the public.

As with
rice grains, a poem
is picked and washed
and then put to the fire.

The rice washing was
mixed with bran for the pigs, rice
pickings are feed for the chickens,
chaff and pebbles
are scattered on earth.
What's served on the table
is smoking hot rice.

As with rice grains,
it's not ideal for a poem
to be well-milled and polished.
White rice is delicious,
but brown rice
is rich in nutrients.

(Translation of "Sining ng pagtula", from Kung Baga sa Bigas: Mga Piling Tula by Jose F. Lacaba.)

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