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Nov 2011
Rice cakes!
****!
Rice cakes for dinner, rice cakes for lunch!
Rice cakes for breakfast!
****!
Don’t they have anything else in this house?
house after house we’ve lived in Nihon*
and all we get to steal from our honorable
but ignorant human hosts
is rice cake and more rice cake...
I hate living in Nihon!
You know, I hear the Dutch and the British
and the Americans give cheese to their mice
even on their ships -
but rats! - what do we mice get
in our honorable land of the rising sun?
Rice cakes!
****!
Rice cakes for dinner, rice cakes for lunch!
Rice cakes for breakfast!
****!
Look - I don’t know about you - but I’ve had it!
I’m leaving Nihon forever
and I’ll jump onto one of these ships
that now more commonly visit Nihon’s shores
and end up in Britain or Holland eating cheese
and live on a Mouse Cheese Pension maybe for the rest of my life,
O cheese! cheese! - rather that, you know
than rice cakes for dinner, rice cakes for lunch!
Rice cakes for breakfast!
And what are you so composed about?
Lying there on the floor, looking so pleased with yourself -
are you coming or no?
OK...you stay here and join some Zen temple
and eat vegetarian rice cakes all your complacent and placid life -
but I’m going this very night
to the West
to feast and dine on cheese,
like an English gentleman perhaps, all my life...
1. “Nihon” is the casual name for Japan. Poem based on drawing “Mice in Council” by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1840); drawing now in Library of Congress, USA.
2. Looks like both the mice got out of Nihon - the painting is now in the US, where I understand, the 2 mice have been eating cheese since they moved and processed cheese since Kraft Foods in 1916...
Raj Arumugam
Written by
Raj Arumugam  Australia
(Australia)   
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