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William Marr Sep 6
bloated by famine in Ethiopia
the stomach must now digest
a TV commercial
of delicious cat food
cholesterol free
Carlo C Gomez Jun 29
Harvest be gone
Welcome to starvation
Ruins of Babylon
Maypole rivets for fangs
Parse the tricky argot, Mr. Bugbear
You speak such pretty thangs
Adagio for strings
Cry me a mare
Thundering rockets of pain
Life is a factory of scares
BLT's continued challenge- to write a poem using the Merriam- Webster word(s) of the day, parse and argot. Two for one special!
A mother sits on the edge
of a hospital bed with her
baby daughter lying on her lap.

The air throughout the hospital
is suffocating, stifling with the
stench of filth and death.

The walls amplify and echo the
anguish of women and children,
and jets fly somewhere overhead.

But she tries to sing a lullaby
through her parched throat
beneath her grubby niqāb. The skin
and bones that make her frame
cannot sway the child for comfort.

She cannot feed her; even if her
******* could provide sustenance,
the child’s sickness would puke it
back up. She craves to cry for God
to spare her little one, but her
bloodshot, sunken eyes no longer
produce tears. All she can offer is
her lullaby, the same one she sang
to all her children. All that remains
of them and their father are fragments,
scattered throughout dirt and debris,
blown to bits a week ago by a blast
in her village. When the only one left
became sick, she started the trek to
the nearest hospital. The journey
greeted her with dust and unbearable
heat, with the agony of an empty
stomach, with a child in misery and
excreting white diarrhea. And when
she finally reached the hospital, the
doctors could not provide treatment.

The disease had progressed too far,
and they did not have the means to
save her daughter. So she sits on a
hospice bed, surrounded by other
sickly and starving bodies, singing a
lullaby. Soon the child closes her eyes
and stops breathing, a thick white
drool leaking down her cheek. Her
mother wipes it away.


-
by Aleksander Mielnikow (Alek the Poet)
This poem depicts a bit of the horrific circumstances that are taking place regularly in Yemen. According to the UN, Yemen is suffering the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 80% of its citizens requiring humanitarian aid. And it is only getting worse.

The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, backed by rich allies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, is committing war crimes. They are targeting innocent civilians with missiles (including some that many countries have banned the use of), and though this includes destroying hospitals and schools, it also includes peaceful villages and the encampments of 3 million displaced persons, unrelated to the Civil War that is being waged. They are targeting infrastructure (for example, gas stations and bridges) that make basic functioning arduous, if not impossible. And they are using a blockade to deny the passage of food and aid into the country. This blockade has perpetuated one of the worst cholera outbreaks ever (which is the “illness” the baby in this poem has). And it has left 20 million people facing food insecurity, with half of them being acutely food insecure. (Some are comparing this deliberate military tactic of famine to The Holodomor, the Ukranian Genocide of 1932-33).

And on top of facing starvation, succumbing to disease, or getting blown to pieces, they are also facing Covid-19 drastically limited resource, which is spreading at an alarming rate.

I titled this poem Forgotten because multiple sources that I’ve read about this crisis point out how the situation in Yemen is being largely ignored. And this ignorance will lead to the unfortunate end of millions of innocent people.

I don’t want that to happen.

In order for us to aid the Yemeni people, the conflict that is occurring needs to end. This can happen a number of ways. I will focus my part in what I can do to get the US Government (where I live) to stop supplying arms to the Saudi-led intervention. I have little influence in the political sphere, and if there’s anyone reading this who could throw a more powerful swing at it, please do. But I will let my readers know if there’s anything they can help me with, such as signing a letter/petition.

But we cannot rely on the conflict resolving when it is such a complex situation with interweaving influences and leaders who are committing or are complicit in atrocities. As such, the other thing we need to do is offer as much aid as we can. In the bio of my Instagram account, @alekthepoet,  there’s a link to multiple non-profits trying to help, and each link takes you to a page that offers more information on Yemen’s situation. Please donate what you can. I cannot offer much, and yet I scrounged up some money and will donate what I can as well (I am donating to Save The Children). Each website also offers more ways in which you can help, so if you have the time please look into that and see if there’s more you can do.

Please do what you can to help the Yemen people. They don’t deserve to be forgotten by us. Please share this information and post to make sure it doesn’t happen.
The Celtic Cross at Île Grosse
by Michael R. Burch

“I actually visited the island and walked across those mass graves [of 30,000 Irish men, women and children], and I played a little tune on me whistle. I found it very peaceful, and there was relief there.” – Paddy Maloney of The Chieftans

There was relief there,
and release,
on Île Grosse
in the spreading gorse
and the cry of the wild geese . . .

There was relief there,
without remorse
when the tin whistle lifted its voice
in a tune of artless grief,
piping achingly high and longingly of an island veiled in myth.
And the Celtic cross that stands here tells us, not of their grief,
but of their faith and belief—
like the last soft breath of evening lifting a fallen leaf.

When ravenous famine set all her demons loose,
driving men to the seas like lemmings,
they sought here the clemency of a better life, or death,
and their belief in God gave them hope, a sense of peace.

These were proud men with only their lives to owe,
who sought the liberation of a strange new land.
Now they lie here, ragged row on ragged row,
with only the shadows of their loved ones close at hand.

And each cross, their ancient burden and their glory,
reflects the death of sunlight on their story.

And their tale is sad—but, O, their faith was grand!

Keywords/Tags: Ile Grosse, Celtic, Cross, faith, belief, grief, Ireland, potato, famine
Neglect
by Michael R. Burch

What good are tears?
Will they spare the dying their anguish?
What use, our concern
to a child sick of living, waiting to perish?

What good, the warm benevolence of tears
without action?
What help, the eloquence of prayers,
or a pleasant benediction?

Before this day is over,
how many more will die
with bellies swollen, emaciate limbs,
and eyes too parched to cry?

I fear for our souls
as I hear the faint lament
of theirs departing ...
mournful, and distant.

How pitiful our “effort,”
yet how fatal its effect.
If they died, then surely we killed them,
if only with neglect.

Keywords/Tags: neglect, starving, dying, perishing, famine, illness, disease, tears, anguish, concern, prayers, inaction, death
You visited Darkness on my doorstep
A maelstrom of madness behind a cracked clown's mask
Your rictus grin cast shadows on my house guests
An upheaval of war broke out at gentile dinner party

Your heavy booted footsteps echoed in the antechamber
As you strode so confident into cacophonious dinner
Laying hands on hors d'eouvres and rotting sweet flesh
Forcing famine to descend on friendly folk

You played with the delicacy of human frailty
As you coughed with hollow wet echoes, racking paper lungs
Spreading filth and vile pox from woman to man
A sickly green pestilence wrapped tendrils around them all

And lastly, you stood before me brandishing gloved finger
You pointed at my chest and asked me, "Are you ready?"
The delight you took from all this rancor, truly sickening
You visited death upon my dining table with glee

But death won't get what it wants on this cold day
Not with heavy heeled boots of war, nor from feast to famine
Not with the pox of pestilence, no horse will drag me away
You came bearing darkness my friend,
But in a quiet valediction, I shall have to ask you to leave
Not actually sure what happened when I wrote this one.  I was feeling grumpy at fairweather friends and had recently read a graphic novel depicted the horsemen of the apocalypse in an every-day-life scenario.  I decided to blend the idea that bad friends carry these horsemen in them and will always want to share them even if everyone else is having a good time.
Pedro Feb 15
How much
do you need
of those ****** coins?
Enough to fill
your own stomach
or just enough
to keep the other empty?

Our greed
our want
they are our curse
and our burden
but to fall for them
that's a matter of caracther
not Fate
Ken Mears Nov 2019
The struggle is real

The world is on fire,

And everyone is a liar


The struggle is real

There is temptation and sin around every corner

I swear it is torture


The struggle is real

People are drawn in and dragged down

As everyone has a nervous breakdown


The struggle is real

War, famine, and death abound

And the wire around the world's neck is tightly wound


The struggle is real

I have seen so much pain

It has been seared into my brain


The struggle is real

The world is dying

And everyone is crying


The struggle is real

The world is on fire,

And everyone is a liar
Kay-Rosa Aug 2019
almost caught around cold marble corners,
stealing strawberries
never noticed by the common crowds,
painfully singled out by the mobs
snatching frozen kisses through double sided mirros,
make me look conceded
silver moments savored by golden windows,
showing worlds who never cared
wondering why we are labeled as villain,
they are the crude smokes that filling ****** skies
contaminated by pleas of those who perspire over you,
fall me upon silent ears
slink around in dark damp under-secret tunnels,
intials engraved within an immature heart pressured into perfection by natural issues
pollution, famine, war, death
four horsmen ready to ride unto an unforgiving world,
but i am the best
the horsemen can never outrun me
i'll always be just behind the almost-loyal congregations, lying in wait amongst the shadows not cowering,
waiting for their side effects to set in
it never takes long
for the noble steeds stomp upon my seeds of doubt,
pressing them firmly in with blood, sweat and tears
first, little sprouts, then large blinding leaves and rolling suffocating vines with poison thorns
don't ***** yourselves children, the fear will set in
hello, freshman year
fray narte Jul 2019
and what you need
to realize
is that
the flowers growing
on the tips
of someone else's pen
is not
the wilting of yours.
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