Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

The Health-Food Diner -- Maya Angelou

Guest poem submitted by Raj Palaniswamy :
(Poem #383) The Health-Food Diner
No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I'm dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run


Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.
-- Maya Angelou

Notes: Maya Angelou is better known for her serious poetry about
emancipation, freedom and equality, in particular about African
Americans and women, particularly African American women. I came across
this one by her completely by accident, in a collection of her poetry.
This is different in theme from most of her other work, but is
completely in keeping with her irreverence to what is "accepted" in
polite society. It was written in 1983, but is increasingly funny in the
overly health conscious 90's, and always amuses me. I can imagine her
sitting down to a hearty meal, and laughing as she was writing this. I
am very weight conscious myself but enjoy my meat, second hand smoke and
an occasional puff on a cigar. I expect that most new agers might object
to this poem, and I personally find the parentheses in the last lines a
little unnecessary -- but who can resist this poem?


[About the poet]

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson is an author, poet, historian,
conductor, actress, singer, songwriter, playwright, film director, and
civil rights activist. Born in a segregated rural area of St. Louis,
Arkansas, she comes from a broken home, was raped at eight, and was an
unwed mother at 16 years old. Throughout all these circumstances she
still managed to become San Francisco's first black woman conductor. She
was also the first black woman to have an original screenplay produced
in 1971, Georgia, Georgia. She has several volumes of poetry and some of
her composed music was recorded by B.B. King She was also nominated for
an Emmy Award for her acting in Roots and Georgia. She is fluent in
French, Spanish, Italian, and West African Fanti.

Ms. Angelou began her career in drama and dance, and she married a South
African freedom fighter and lived in Cairo. During her five years in
Africa, she lived in Egypt and became the editor of The Arab Observer,
the only English-language news weekly in the Middle East. Later she also
taught in Ghana and was feature editor of The African Review. In the
1960's she said that being black, female, non-Muslim, non-Arab, six foot
tall, and American made for some interesting experiences during her stay
in Africa. During this time she was also the northern coordinator for
the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the request of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. She was also appointed to the Bicentennial
Commission by President Gerald Ford, and the National Commission on the
Observance of International Women's Year by Jimmy Carter. She has
published ten best selling books and countless magazine articles, and in
1993 she wrote and delivered the presidential inauguration for President
Bill Clinton.

One of Maya Angelou's books, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was
an account of her youth, describes the trauma of being raped as a child,
the violent death of her attacker, and her subsequent refusal to speak
for five years. It was the target of a censorship attack according to
the Dec. 3, 1994 edition of the Washington Afro-American. The Round
Rock, Texas parents thought that the book was "pornographic" and "just
plain filth." It was also a two hour special on CBS. Currently, Ms.
Angelou lectures throughout the United States and abroad and recently
has been a Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest
University in North Carolina.

72 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Manitoubear said...

I loved that poem - she's woman after my own heart! My philosphy is all
things in moderation. I'll have to admit, though, that I hate cigarette and
cigar smoke because they stink. But, gimme a big ole steak and a glass of
wine and I happy as a hog. Ooohh - pork chops, too! And fried


Marlene L Albanese said...

Actually, I am in the process of contacting Maya regarding this royal
hypocrisy that is used in one of her greeting cards. Sorry you guys enjoy
your 'steaks', but as humans, perhaps you should eat as nature intended:
frugivores. Also, perhaps YOU should have to stick, skin, and deleg (as
in remove the legs) of the terrified, fully-conscious cow, so you can
eat them. "New-Ager", my ass. I was brought up on steak, too, but then I
researched it, along with human physiology. Think you're so tough and
we're so weak? Read Slaughterhouse, by Gail Eisnitz. Face up to what
you're doing, if vegetarians are the weaklings. Live in the real world.
Steaks are cows (oh, and sometimes horses. Ooops! Why? Would that make a
difference?) If you'd like more information, to truly walk it like Maya
talks it, please contact me at (don't use the address
I'm writing this from.)

kay jay said...

I just went and saw Maya speak, and she gave the backstory to this poem-- it is not completely her beliefs, if you couldn't tell from the tone it is kind of a joke and just for laughs. Laughter is good for the soul, this is not a serious poem.

Always remember that there is a story behind any story. She was at a health food diner and was making a satire on the unhealthy looking people sitting around the diner, because when she was ordering her food the waitress went nuts on her for taking out a smoke in a health-food diner, so this was a joke/serious response to her experience.

No need to get upset over somebody else's story :)

kay jay said...

Oh and p.s. she has been smoke free for 20 years now...

Arkia said...

Love this part: "Today, I need a steak"... and glass of wine.

seartho said...

it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

Kind Regards,
goji berry

Rey Abisan said...

I rarely leave comments on articles, but your article encouraged me to compliment your writings. Thanks for the read, I will tweet your post and come back occasionally.

Kind Regards,
who owns phone

daenkblog said...

It’s actually a great and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
Adira Asuransi kendaraan
Adira Asuransi Kendaraan Terbaik Indonesia | Adira Asuransi Kendaraan Terbaik Indonesia | Adira Asuransi Kendaraan Terbaik Indonesia | Adira Asuransi Kendaraan Terbaik Indonesia

Cialis Online said...

I loved this poem is amazing and very interesting, thanks for share this valuable information with us.

Best regards,

Generic Cialis said...

This poem is very interesting, thanks for share, I will tweet your post and come back occasionally.

Best regards,

MBA dissertation said...

I am very thankful to you for posting such stuff.This really help me lot.

MBA dissertation said...

I am very thankful to you for posting such stuff.This really help me lot.

dissertation examples study said...

completely in keeping with her irreverence to what is "accepted" in polite society.

Healthstoredirect said...

This is amazing style to attract viewer to your post .Nice poem , really a extraordinary post . Thanks for sharing this post.

Health Store

Benitto said... is the Healthiest site with answers to health questions.

hp desktop motherboard said...

I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it.
I would like to see more post like this!

Jack said...

Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..

Jack said...

Very helpful and informative post. I appreciate your thoughtful writes and step by step guide lines. Thanks you.

Pineapple For Weight Loss said...

Blendz is a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food. Blendz offers a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.…More From fresh-squeezed juices and wheatgrass to a Classic Italian Panino, its offerings are well-varied and tailored to the health

Fmipa said...

interesting story, a journey full of struggles

Asad Yousuf said...

zi xiu tang Bee Pollen can be said to be one of the most popular slimming products in current US market, more and more people are getting successful results from it and thus more and more weight losers are recommended or encouraged to taking it, speeding up the fat consumption, stopping the body absorbing fat and accelerating the fat breaking up,zi xiu tang

Jak down said...

Magnets have been reported to aid in Pain Management and be helpful in the treatment of many chronic conditions like Inflammation and Arthritis. Now Ion Tourmaline are the newest way to enhance Magnetic Therapy. magnetic bracelets

Recommended Site said...

Very good blog post. I definitely love this site. Keep it up!

Jak down said...

Even without adding sodium to your plate, your diet is probably already exceeding the normal limits of what the FDA recommends. Health and Lifestyle News

Asad Yousuf said...

Start following this weight loss diet plan, along with diet tea and cardio exercise and watch yourself come back in shape.

Asad Yousuf said...

Toilet training: the dreaded phrase for most parents, and rightfully so. But it does not have to be a difficult, frustrating process. With the right mindset and knowledge, you can train your child to use the toilet with the least amount of headache. potty training alarm

Asad Yousuf said...

Then a book, written by Dr. Howard Murad, unlocked the puzzle of anti aging in a surprisingly easy way.Anti Aging

Jak down said...

Chiropractor is a form of alternative medicine which attempts to diagnose and treat patients through manipulation of their musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. It uses manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, joints, and soft tissues as well as exercises and lifestyle counseling.

Asad Yousuf said...

These foods alone are enough to complete the diet correctly. Make sure to avoid sweeteners, seasoning, etc. It's also important to stay away from sugary beverages. For this diet you should only be consuming water, and lots of it. 2 day diet

Alam Jan said...

You may post on the quotes for the blog. You could tell how it's brand new. Your blog thoughts will springboard your participates.lida daidaihua

jack said...

I found that you have an amazing sense of honor and keen helpful material for users who came across the globe and readSan Francisco House Flipping Opportunity

Jak down said...

Wow, fantastic weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, neatly as} the content material! Registered Massage Therapist

Asad Ali Khatri said...

The second reason gut health is essential is that it will improve digestion and help you feel better. You will feel more energetic because your neurotransmitters will be firing at optimal levels, and your metabolism will be supported so that nutrients get absorbed and used by the body in an effective manner.garcinia cambogia reviews uk

Asad Ali Khatri said...

An order is typically made either over the internet or by telephone to the pizza chain, in which the customer can request pizza type, size and other products alongside the pizza, commonly including soda beverages.Pizza Delivery Singapore

Asad Ali Khatri said...

Jillian Harris is the famous Canadian celebrity and interior designer. she was born in Peace River of Alberta. She started her career as interior designer by working at Caban Interior goods store. In 2011 her career got instant boost by appearing in Calgary Home + Design Show. She became famous by appearing as first Canadian start on American TV show "The Bachlorett".plastic surgery photos

Jak down said...

Fitness training doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, with enough motivation, discipline, and dedication, it can be greatly enjoyable and ultimately rewarding. Get the hang of it by following these 29 simple fitness training tips divided into three categories to get you started. Simple Fitness Training Tips for Exercise 1.

Asad Ali Khatri said...

We use the most innovative materials and designs to produce Crutcheze high quality crutch and walker accessories, which are designed by healthcare professionals and tested by independent testers to ensure the highest standards resulting in thousands of satisfied customers.Crutch bags

Asad Ali Khatri said...

SPONSORED Twinings "You're My Cup of Tea" Contest : Every sip of Twinings' tea is a marriage of experience—yours and theirs. Their expert blenders source only the finest leaves cultivated to their exacting standards by trusted growers aroun.iherb code

paket wisata bromo said...

Wisata Bromo | Bromo Tour | Tour and Travel | Paket Tour Bromo | Wisata Bromo | Info Wisata Jatim

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that

Anonymous said...

She meant the post satire wise.

Asad Ali Khatri said...

iherb coupon can give you wealth. Money, Gold, fame can be other sorts of assets. But without a proper health you cannot enjoy or relish the flavor of these materialistic things. Hence, you need to have a sound health. iherb coupon codes

Daniel Clark said...

Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. Home cleaning | Hotel | But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

Alam jaan said...

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.
find out more

Alam jaan said...

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.find out more

iHerb Coupon said...

Did you know your health could have different benefits for these reasons? It may help you out

Awais Hameed said...

Windows 7 health Center is actually a fake basic safety program which is identical to the Home window Optimization Facility. Windows overall health Center bares its essentiality by way of hijacking your components and showcasing many deceiving pop-ups.

Awais Hameed said...

Although the Dwelling vote so that you can repeal heath care treatment reform is definitely symbolic exclusively (supplied the Democratic Senate and White colored House), this is the necessary initially step creating committee by way of committee action covering the coming many months on individually distinct provisions of heath care treatment.

iHerb coupon said...

I agree with most of the ingredients but if it was me I would take it way leaner! but this idea is very healthy and thank you for sharing it!

Asad Ali said...

Apart from the spiritual goals, the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program yoga pants

agus said...

Nice information,, terrimaksih infonya..sukses much for sharing the info and cara memperbesar alat vital pria the website is always to be the best and do the best to the next information ..

cecillia said...

Thank's have shared the info,, success home design and decorating ideas always for the info and the website,,, and be specifications car and motorcycle honda the best to the next information,, price and specifications yamaha

cara mengatasi mata berair said...

I love your writing, simple and easy to understand. Thank you. You can visit some my blog at Cara Mengobati Bronkitis Kronis, pengobatan gagal ginjal and cara mengatasi kelalahan

Asad Ali Khatri said...

SynthaSleep is the best over the counter sleep aid because it has been proven to help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep, all while maximizing the quality of sleep you're getting and unlike other over the counter sleep aids, SynthaSleep won't make you feel drowsy, foggy or give you a sleep hangover.valerian

cecillia said...

Terimaksih telah berbagi minimalist home interior design infonya,,sukses selalu untuk info specifications honda sonic 150R and websitenya,,,and minimalist house interior exterior be the best to the next info,, price yamaha vixion

cecillia said...

Terimaksih telah berbagi minimalist home interior design infonya,,sukses selalu untuk info specifications honda sonic 150R and websitenya,,,and minimalist house interior exterior be the best to the next info,, price yamaha vixion

Asad Ali said...

coupons for iherb new customers Eze764 As always you can use your iHerb Coupon if you are an new customer for $5-10 off all products! Don't forget that you can save a ton of money by buying the short dated products at iherb:

Asad Ali said...

It's the only one that has helped me without being habit forming or causing any discomfort. I continue to recommend to friends and family with similar issues. I am very grateful.constipation in infants

Post a Comment