Ruminants are mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through microbial actions. The process typically requires the fermented ingesta (known as cud) to be regurgitated and chewed again. The process of rechewing the cud to further break down plant matter and stimulate digestion is called rumination. The word “ruminant” comes from the Latin ruminare, which means “to chew over again.” (Wikipedia)

The living green goes into a gut
especially for stewing
then is retrieved
for a second chewing.

A knot of cud augmented
by funk from within
foments, fermented,
now in the swell of the paunch,

now in the honeycombed tripe.
Pulled up for another gnaw,
then down to the omasum –
known too as bible, psalterium.

And at last the maw,
where rennet is added
to the remnant, dull and warm,
of whatever bright thing first invited

rumination in this pensive
thing masticating, that stares
at something beyond the fence of
the neighbor’s farm

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