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    Poem: Lentils & Rice

    By John C. Mannone

    March 8, 2017
    • jenni ho-huan

      the poem immediately made me think of Esau who of course is a powerful indictment of how we are often callous about our spiritual inheritance in Christ, choosing fast food over the Meal Jesus offers. I don't quite get the link with Saddam, but i think perhaps it's the same: seeking a quick solution?

    • Alice LaChapelle

      Your description of the 'innocent one' made my soul cry. For a few moments, I felt cleansed, accepted, gifted. Thank you.

    • metin erdem

      This poem made me think once more about the Iraq War and Saddam Hussein. Many innocent people died in the war of Iraq. We all are guilty. We are guilty because we watched the dying of innocent children and women. May God forgive all of us.

    • Erna Albertz,

      Thanks for reading. How did this poem speak to you? Please share your thoughts.

    He peers into the blue bowl:
    lamb broth infusing grains
    of rice and lentils, brown
    dregs upwelling to surface—
    for a moment mesmerized,
    murky quick-silt pulling him
    under; he grimaces about the
    future. The rice looks dirtied,
    like so many thoughts. He knows
    they’d also feed lentils & rice
    to Hussein before hanging him,
    but Saddam would have no remorse.

    This man is innocent. His eyes
    full of tears.

    Before he lifts the torn pieces
    of bread and the blood colored
    wine he’s staring into, he looks
    up to the others, their eyes soft.
    In a broken voice he says,
    This is my body, this my blood
    which is shed for you.













    kernels of brown rice
    Contributed By JohnCMannone

    John C. Mannone has published poetry in the New England Journal of Medicine, Inscape Literary Journal, Windhover, Baltimore Review, and other magazines. He was awarded a 2016 Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities writing residency, and had two literary poetry collections featured at the 28th Southern Festival of Books. He edits poetry for Silver Blade and Abyss & Apex, and is a college professor of physics in east Tennessee. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart three times. Visit

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