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Waging Peace

Stephen Mead: Rice

Picture it:

grain in your hand,

seed spare, salt white,

a spiritual host.

Ghosts of multitudes show up,

shadowgraphs all, their mouths

in O gapes over mushrooming

stomachs & limbs spidery

as Gollum’s.


They are each the outline

of the Famine Artist

whose work I once saw.

She traced her bony body in black

marker to brown paper,

the paper of grocery bags.

She glued peanuts down on top

to show her hunger was just like

ours, ours & theirs.


She knew as the ghosts do

that there always could be

rice enough

beyond the missiles

raining upon fields.


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