Ini Nasi Yang Kusuap by Masuri S.N. (1958),

translated by Khai Hori, Jan 2020

This rice I feed on

once was grain that fed my hopes

it bows its head for the blowing wind

tranquil and full, stooped in submission

 

These grains I eat

through wet throat I swallow

become my blood

in body they terminate

 

Turbulent wind, equatorial sun

torrid torsos of farmers at fields

in heat, rainfall and energies spent

this rice I feed on is the rice of men

 

This goodwill I receive

is Nature’s gift, sprawls and branches

this is rice from – toil

it arrives for those who deserve

 

Truly, what I ate was not rice in itself

but sweat, blood, that flows within

truly, what I swallowed is not grain

but the veins and pulses of all farmers