Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Poem: "Poem for a Vegetarian"

This morning I had my brains stewed for breakfast
and the lamb lies down
on the Dresden China
where they eat only rice,
boiled white because purity
is the essence of hunger
and Deng Xiaoping,
asked how he viewed the American gift
of the musk oxen,
said, “They were delicious.”

POET'S NOTE: This poem was inspired by an article in a newspaper that I read many years ago about how when US President Richard Nixon was trying to thaw the American relationship with China, he had two musk oxen sent to the Chinese Premier as a gift. I believe they were a breeding pair and I guess it was assumed by Nixon that they would be placed in a zoo. Sometime later when the US ambassador to China asked Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese Premier, about the gift, he supposedly replied that they were delicious. Cultural rapprochement still had some way to go.

On another related aspect, Morrissey, lead singer of The Smiths, famously sang that "Meat is Murder". He is right of course, but many of us still remain somewhat guilty assassins of our mammal and fish brethren.

Don't forget to visit the blogs of my fellow Tuesday Poets for more great poems and, of course, the hub of Tuesday Poem at:



  1. funny, this. well not really, but the reference to the Nixon story made me chuckle.

  2. What an opening line! Such punch and vigour. The Nixon story made me giggle, too - the communication gap is fascinating.

  3. Nice poem - had a bit of a giggle - and then read the back-story about the musk oxen... so funny. Cheers.

  4. I'm pleased to have given you all a chuckle. Poems don't always have to be serious, do they? I guess this one is amusing, but also with a tragi-comic element as well.

  5. Poems definitely "don't" always have to be serious, altough I felt sorry for the musk oxen... tragi-comic as you so rightly observe.

  6. Oh dear! Well I guess it should have been made clear that they were for looking at not eating.
    Strange kind of present though? Thanks for sharing Andrew.