Tag Archives: hunger

Greed and hunger

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far away
a child starves
while the fat ones
bemoan their perceived poverty
filling their faces with too much food
covering their vain tattoos with the latest fashion
before going home in their fuel-guzzling metal monsters
to rooms so stuffed with luxury goods
that their essential electronic toys
have to be produced in
miniature

tinier than
the starving child’s
foot

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Written for The Daily Post #Miniature

©Jane Paterson Basil

LOOKING BACK

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not so long ago
all of the treasures which were mine

all of those gems
which shine forth
throughout each day

the friendly smile and
the grandchild’s
newly
learnt
word

did not reach me,
but remained unrecognised and unheard.

not so long ago
came the day when
my need for escape
freed me from my shell
I floated to the ceiling
so
high
so
far
away

I looked
down upon
shattered
pieces
of myself
abandoned on the kitchen floor
the part of me that contained the mouth
moved
and the sound that it formed was
“this too shall pass
this
too
shall
pass”

Perhaps there were crack dealers with guns in my attic, or perhaps I had come home to hide after running from my son. Maybe I had found him in a terrifying drug stupor, or I had got my wallet out and it was empty when there should have been enough money for me to buy food to stave off my hunger.

whatever the cause
I was on the floor
because
someone
had suggested that
I look
at the
problem
from
another angle,
and I had never lain on my kitchen floor before, so I was trying a new cure for what ailed me. I was searching the ceiling for an answer. It was the only new angle I cound find.

my
chanting lips
could not
drive out
the horror
of
what
was my
life

could not
assuage the
fear
that
my son
who I loved
although I
no
longer
knew
him,
no
longer
liked
him,
was going to die.

He was going to die because he could not begin to control his habit. Even though he was in touch with his mortality, it was beyond his ability to save himself. His willpower had flown, and his habit increased.

death honed his scythe in preparation.

not all of them die
so prematurely
but of those who do,
some have
the mark upon them,
and
everyone
can
see
the skeletal grin
of the grim reaper
at their shoulder
months before
their
bodies
are
stolen
to
join
their
poor
lost
souls

the ceiling held no answer to my problem.

after a while my sad spirit sank back into my body
and despairing, I sat on the stairs
staring at the wall
“this
too
shall
pass”

it passed.

and now all of the treasures which are mine

all of those gems
which shine forth
throughout each day

the friendly smile and
the grandchild’s
newly
learnt
word

my son’s laughter and his kindly eyes

reach me,
are recognised, heard and celebrated.

© Jane Paterson Basil

DINING ON LOVE

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When puberty snatched me
away from the meadows
and pulled me towards
untasted temptation,
your love was an entree
that followed an orgy
of meats tough and bitter,
and soft sickly sweets.

A shrug of your shoulders
fast cleansed my palate,
then you fed me fine flavours
of deep-scented spices
tucked in your life-force,
and clean flowing water
leaving the fresh taste
on the tip of my tongue.

But you had another
dessert on your table
and I was an extra
to love and to savour.
You needed to diet
and I had to leave you
to find your way home
and dine with your other.

But though I may hunger
and long for the fullness
that only your presence
can satisfy,
I still taste the flavour
of love-kissed starters,
and honeyed ribbons
still bind me to you,

and all of the scraps
I took from your table
are safely preserved
in my ageing heart.
Each day I remember
the feast that you gave me
and now I am ready
to truthfully say

I freed you, but held you within.

© Jane Paterson Basil