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Shibu Varkey Jun 14
stood before my misty
bedroom window pane
I saw hazy scenes of future
and my gray reflected face

blotches, smudges, patches
feelings, emotions, thoughts
on that bedewed window
of a million human hearts

my bare palm feels the glass
cold indelible marks.
forms a million faces
in that frosty glass

Gazing deeply at me
from beyond the glass
the hungry and the bleeding
from a thousand miles.

My heart begins to wonder
what scenes are yet to come
beyond that misty window
as the days come and go by

Will warm rays of sunshine
ensure the mist goes dry,
or raindrops bathe the pane
and wash away it stain.

but those searching gazes,
of a million stained faces,
of bleeding feet and wishes
forever is etched in that pane
this poem is based on my thoughts on the migrant labourers walking hundreds of miles to reach their homes after the sudden lockdown in India
The gold that flows, through our elaborate veins,
The crop that is known, by many names,
The gift that alleviates, our daytime pains,
The commodity that plays, one too many games.

Our world is nothing, but a bottomless mine,
Simply waiting, for the wrath and plunder of humankind,  
Oh labourers please, wait your spot in line,
For it was not you that made, this incredible find.

You’re a fool to think, the system needs a redesign,
For your fate and this chain, are forever intertwined.
Stay in your corner, as they wine and dine,
For it is you not them, contained by this chain’s bind.  

Posing as a gift, that elevates their daily grind,
The brown gold is no longer, part of your bloodline,
It was their chains after all, that made this incredible find,
For it now flows away, from the Plateau’s skyline.
You continue to hope, for these chains to be redefined,
But to imagine you even exist to them, is asinine,
Yet you believe a consumer movement, would be so inclined,
For you forget that chains were made, to always confine.
This is a poem dedicated to the hard working smallholder coffee farmers around the world. This poem is intended to speak to their struggle, the inequalities of coffee value/supply chains the world over, and the unfortunate reality that these farmers face. This poem can certainly apply to many smallholder farmers and other labourers (landless or not) who suffer similar fates. Note that coffee in some circles is referred to as brown gold because of its economic value.

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