is a baby bird,
a swallow
screaming for dinner,
its beak wide open,
a black hole
ready to swallow
its mother whole.

The raging acid ocean
gripes and grumbles,
piranha enzymes frenzied
by the food that tumbles
down the open gullet.

But oh, the satisfaction
of the elephantine belly,
the joy of different flavours
that coat the tongue
and tease the gustatory cortex,
a sweet and savoury tango
before the chemistry of digestion.

Kim M. Russell, 19th August 2020

Image by 42 North on Unsplash

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings #33: “swallow screams for dinner”

Magaly is back with a prompt after an interesting week. She says that today’s prompt is based on a line from a poem by Chrissa Sandlin. We are invited to write new poetry or prose which includes the phrase “swallow screams for dinner”, which Chrissa has given permission for us to use.  We may change the verb’s tense, but the rest of the phrase should remain intact.

22 thoughts on “Hunger

  1. I am quite happy to eat most things but to imagine the workings of my gut are of little interest as it would reduce the amount of satisfaction of poppong it in in the first place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin, you’d really hate my nutritional life then. I spend a lot of my day making sure my digestive system does what it’s supposed to with food. I am very happy that I enjoy the learning process, but I have a lot of friends that need to keep a close eye on digestion and, like you, feel the whole thing takes away from the joy of eating–their lives are not easy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Rosemary–that’s quite clever! So is the contrast between primal hunger and simple satisfaction. What a luxury it is to be satisfied than merely not hungry anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To echo Rosemary’s and Rommy’s thoughts, love your clever word usage. It made me smile. Not just because I could picture the sparrow chicks so well–your poem describes their “Feed me! Feed me! Feed ME!” so well–but also because I so love seeing digestion turned to poetry. I love the ease of your lines, their powerful imagery, the beauty your ink injects into biology.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love it!

        By the way, at the moment there is a sparrow youth in training in my wee garden. The mother has been trying to teach it to get to the feeder on its own. But it keeps on begging. And not just to its mother, but to any bird that visits the feeder. It’s cute, and extremely entertaining.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The ramifications and restrictions of satisfying modern hunger have become SO complicated. How does one prepare a meal for a family gathering that includes a diabetic, a “chronie”, a vegan, a carnivore, a PKU one, a keto one, and a celiac Somehow grandma just cooked, and everyone feasted, enjoyed, and dealt with it! SIGH


  5. We had 3 open-gaped hatchlings in the small red maple just off the porch & we spent a cool couple of weeks watching mama puke out those half-digested bugs & worms.

    Love this piece, KR.

    Liked by 1 person

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