Begging Bowl

Begging Bowl

The tv screen screams ‘feed me’
‘clothe me’
‘shelter me’
a hundred flies on a baby’s face
a tiny, swollen brown belly
and a tear stained cheek
like Edvard Munch’s scream
the little face haunts me
tiny arms flail aimlessly in futile gesture

A skinny rake of a woman
two poached eggs of breasts
barren paps, bereft of milk
holds the hopeless child closer still
while staring – vacant – at the camera

Every day – every month – every hour this goes on
and we in our ‘civilised’ little world pass by
the man with the red bucket, rattling it for charity
we hurry on by…stung by wasps of stinginess
battering our conscience down
poverty on the back burner once again

Sleek suited politicians well clothed and fed
with pasted grins and smiles so false
tell us there’s no cash for want
yet dig deep when there’s a so called cause for war
the war chest is a bottomless pit – like hell itself
that gobbles up ‘that’ which should be for us all
‘that’ which could improve all our lives
that dirty, soiled and bloodstained thing we call money

Pile my plate high and with overeating, let me die
happy at least and with full stomach, I pass
never knowing want, or cold, or deprivation
being unlucky enough to be born in a Godforsaken land
that’s seen as a geographic begging bowl.

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About martyjava

Blogger, reviewer for all of JC Gallacher's collected works, ebooks, music, songs, plays and musicals.

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