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- Click – Container Click – No Record (Two Voices)
- Click – Harvests Dream Click – CD4 Count 201
- Click – Call to Action Click – Thirty Nine
- Click – How Old are You? Click – Malaria
- Click – Space Click – Jigger flea
- Click – Eco House Click – Christmas
- Click – Donate Today Click – My Brother or Me
- Click – Thank You Click – Visitor
- Click – Bilharzias Click – School
- Click – Agogo’s Tale Click – Storm
- Click – Land Grab Click – The Samaritan
- Click – We know its Christmas, do they?
- Click – Letter to God
The engine cools as the night draws down.
By the flicker of lamps we children gather round.
Its journey started under different skies.
This vessel looms large before our curious eyes.
In prayer we stand with our heads bowed low.
To say thank you for that innermost glow.
Our thoughts turn to those that labour and toil.
To alight this gift of love on our soil.
Doors crack open, echoing through the night,
Stirring joy, excitement and scenes of delight.
A chain is formed, unloading begins.
Boxes, bags and all manner of things.
An assembly of gifts from a distant land.
Making the difference with an out stretched hand.
The muscles ache, sweat covers our skin,
The task is hard, but nothing is left within.
The vessel is empty, the goods all stored.
We pray for you and thank the Lord.
A moment taken to explore what’s been sent.
You must know, this night, we sleep content.
No Record (Two Voices) Top
The scent of sweet straw on damp earth,
filled the air at my birth.
…………..% Rural Population …..Estimated
The first breath taken, the world to greet,
No paper or document to record this feat.
…………..Total Population….. Extrapolated
Schooling was sporadic. I didn’t excel,
No certificate of achievement for pride to swell.
…………..% Adult Literacy….. Approximated
I toiled and laboured through my working career.
No ledger entry, to witness the passing years.
I passed away under a star lit sky.
No hospital bed for me to lie.
…………..Access to Health Care ….. Appraised
No questions asked or investigations made.
Why I lay in this unmarked grave.
…………..Life Expectancy….. Predicted
With charts and tables the predictions are done.
The battle for identity may never be won.
…………..Cost ….. Miscalculated
I know I existed in time and place
But a paper trail, I left no trace.
Call to Action Top
Far away in the comforts of home
My thoughts and memories drift and roam
I reminisce to friends and kin,
of the experiences I hold within.
I recount the poverty the children face
The injustices metered out to the human race.
I demand action, the banner raised
The message unheard, the faces glazed.
The modern age dictates life’s pace.
It’s hard for my pledge to now embrace.
When I was there things were so clear
I would right the wrongs, showing no fear.
A difference can be made, it’s true.
But what I need most, is YOU
Thirty Nine Top
Living is hard in this poor land,
Sickness and disease are always to hand.
Rising early we meet the sun,
to toil and labour till our energy is done.
Evening comes and gives some respite,
beans and porridge to see us thro’ the night.
A song, a story, a game to play
before on barren floor to sleep we lay.
We dream, we worry, of how things could be,
for our children, relatives and me.
It is natural that we all must die,
but at thirty-nine – WHY?
How Old are You? Top
I have heard of Christmas, it’s a celebration I think.
Where friends and family share gifts and drink.
A toast to the new and out with the old,
is what happens at New Year, so I’m told.
Easter, Eid, Hannukah and Diwali
have great meaning and reverence for many.
Each morning when I awake,
a small celebration I do make.
Birthdays, no cake or hat,
I was born and that was that!
The mosquito is such a delicate thing
but in the night, how loud it doth sing.
Food a plenty for it to feast
no matter if it’s sleeping child, man or beast.
It takes your blood and life force too,
your aching joints are just like flu.
Money for medicine I have none,
in hours or days my life may be gone.
My body responds with fever and pain,
so at rest I must remain.
As my energy drains away,
so to God I kneel and pray.
The silence sky is ablaze with stars.
They say man has been to the moon and is going to mars.
Billions it cost to get them there.
I sit on a mat, not even a chair.
They can look back in time and space,
to see the origins of the human race.
I look round to view my domain,
and what I see is almost the same.
In cold deep space technology helps them survive,
I have three stones and a pot to keep me alive.
They say the spin offs to space are many.
Electricity, water, food and health I have not any.
If they were stranded in that desolate place,
then they would understand the hardship we face.
Before you go into outer space,
please remember the human race.
Jigger flea Top
She voyaged from the west, by sail boat and sea.
She lurks out of sight just waiting for me.
No passport, visa or right of abode,
She has travelled along a precarious road.
No knock to the door or guest we invite.
She sneaks into our homes by day and by night.
She lays in wait until we are at rest
and enters the body, the feet to infest.
She burrows between the toes and under the skin,
to enjoy the juice of our body, which flows within.
A single black eye, a bump on the skin,
Itching, pain and suffering will now begin.
She swells with pride, her children to rear,
disease and mortality are yours to fear.
Do not rub or scratch the infested cyst
or the mother to be, inside, will resist.
We must extract this invader intact
or gas gangrene may impact.
Bacteremias and tetanus are dangers too.
Death and destruction may still ensue.
The soul is scared, the body abused.
We endure all this, for the want of shoes!
Eco House Top
Beaten earth to make a base.
Nature’s bounty, nothing to waste.
Sun baked bricks, all neat and dried.
Make the walls with love and pride.
The house is topped with branches and straw.
No window, or lock to secure the door.
As day dawns, light floods the room.
Moon and stars banish the evening gloom.
Sounds of life in the air do roam.
The eco house is now a home.
As the seasons bloom and blow.
Signs of wear begin to show.
Gods little miracles invade our space
Destroying the fabric of the place.
I crouch down as the rain sweeps in,
and wish this night the roof was tin.
Christmas, a time for family and friends.
Food and drink and making amends.
Life’s hustle and bustle set to pause.
The child within grows and glows.
Anticipation, excitement all consume.
As the air tingles with loves first bloom.
Dimming reflections so warm and tender
Recalling times of pageant and splendour
Exchanging gifts to show our love.
Giving thanks to the one above
Remembering those far from our touch,
of loved and lost ones we miss so much.
A celebration of all we hold dear,
making way for the start of a New Year
We know its Christmas, do they? Top
As we rise on Christmas day
No toys or trinkets from Santa’s sleigh.
Song and laughter fill the air.
The gifts of life are what we share.
Friends and strangers ring the earth,
Giving thanks for the Saviour’s birth.
Greed and envy have no place,
for the salvation of our race.
Those more comfortable than we,
Can be fearful or indifferent to what we see.
Our needs and desires are goals we share.
The scale of plenty balanced unfair.
Suspend the rush and raise life’s veil.
To behold a structure ever so frail.
Come lift up your hearts and join our band.
Brothers and sisters, hand in hand.
Donate Today Top
Donate today save a life.
Donate today to reduce the strife.
Donate today to give us health.
Donate today and share the wealth.
Donate today to expand our mind.
Donate today because you are kind.
Donate today for our healthy fare.
Donate today because you care.
Donate today to improve our abode.
Donate today to reduce our load.
Donate today before you waver.
Donate today and be our saviour.
Donate today to improve our lot
And forever we will forget you not.
My Brother or Me Top
Who will die first – my brother or me,
I am four and he is three.
They say one in four will not survive,
to the ripe old age of five.
My mother has gone, my father too,
but they made it till they were forty two.
My grandmother has lived many lives
and by the grace of God still survives.
Friends and relatives have all passed away,
due to the hardship they endured everyday.
With your help the problems we can fix,
and not become just another statistics.
Thank You Top
The gifts you’ve given are generous indeed,
helping we children in desperate need.
Your love and favours flow to distant lands,
helping to guide our tiny hands.
Fortune is not measured in things we hold, but in the potential, love and laughter that your help unfolds.
We would like to entertain you with a song or a play and if God is willing this may happen one day.
Until we meet a big thank you is what we convey and know that you are in our prayers each and every day.
How we dance, sing and play
to welcome you on this special day.
We have nothing this is true,
But laughter and smiles are thanks to you.
About our life you wish to hear.
Happiness, sadness and what we fear.
The time is short the day is done,
We must run before the setting sun.
Remember us as you leave this place.
by the smiles that adorn your happy face.
And as your lives return to normal
in our hearts you’ll live eternal.
No babbling brook or rushing stream,
and piped water is but a dream.
Still water and muddy pools are our lot,
safe to drink they are not.
Bugs and beasts come each day
to share where we wash and play.
The water is cool and refreshes the skin,
but dangerous snails lurk within.
They enter the body without any pain,
disease and destruction are their aim.
The toilet turns red, the damage is done.
To the doctor I must run
Death will come if two tablets I don’t take
to rid the body of this terrible fate.
My pockets are empty, I have nothing to sell,
death comes slowly in a living hell.
The sun rises on our schoolroom so barren and bare
No window, door, desk or chair.
The walls aren’t adorned with work we have done
Paper to write we have none.
Ninety eager minds squeezed into this space.
Total concentration on each and every face.
No pen or copy book to record the session.
It’s hard to remember everything in this lesson.
Education and knowledge is what we seek,
Without it, our future is said to be bleak.
Poverty and hardship is what we face,
It’s a privilege to attend this humble place.
Thunder and rain bombard the roof,
like a thousand wilder beast on the hoof.
Our time is cut short the lesson is done.
Homeward bound we now must run.
Agogo’s Tale Top
Grandmother old and frail,
Plays out her daily tale.
Dawn is greeted with a shivering sky.
Cock rejoices with his familiar cry.
Thanks to God, our life to hold,
As the days events unfold.
Ray of warmth pricks the air.
Hoe in hand, the soil laid bare.
Cleanse with nature’s bounty in hand.
At the stream, in water to stand.
Wisps of smoke dance and rise.
Cradle the pot, on earth’s hard prize.
Smiles and laugher, children to attend,
Off to school, their future to befriend.
Gleaning the land for water and fuel.
Coping with life’s constant duel.
Friends and neighbours, news to raise.
Picking the stones and winnowing the maize.
Mortise and pestle the rhythm begun.
Breaks the silence of the afternoon sun.
Children’s laughter returns to the fold.
Reducing the burden, stories untold.
Pleasure of food passing the lips
Silence descends as an unspoken script.
Hands together, spirits to lift
Thanks to God for his daily gifts.
The cock crows out over a cloudless sky.
Huddled together in dreams to fly.
Darkening clouds gather in a menacing way.
Drawing together at the end of the day.
The air is a tingle all vibrant and clear.
The leaves a whisper with quivering fear.
The air tumbles and swirls increasing in pace.
Heralding the progress of this heavenly chase.
The onset of rain comes with a burst.
Overwhelming the lands insatiable thirst.
Blackening skies are thrown apart.
As streaks of light pierce its heart.
Its breath explodes with deafening applause.
Life is frozen in the grip of its jaws.
The sky is electric with spears of light.
The air roars out as it catches the flight.
Time stands still until this turmoil is gone.
Stillness returns as the race moves on.
Land Grab Top
The warm heart of Africa is cold and grey.
Tyranny and oppression rule the day.
Shadowy figures stalk the land.
Fear and despair, follow hand in hand.
Pennies laid on the people’s voice.
The shroud of silence, a perilous choice.
The scale swings against the poor and cursed.
The jingle sounds brightly in our protector’s purse.
Smoke and mirrors form the nation’s mask
The world’s leaders diligently feed the cask.
Nature’s earth is our sole possession.
Sowing and reaping in continuous procession.
North to south silent murders unfold.
The story of land grab is still to be told.
Helpless, powerless, a leader to soar.
Our cries for help lost in the greed for more.
Dispossessed of our forefather’s right
The reaper comes unheard in stillness of night.
The Samaritan Top
Man, woman, young or old.
We know not who, only the story told.
They did not pass by or stand and stare.
When there was need, they were there.
Gratitude or reward they did not seek.
Their story is a celebration of the good and meek.
Their name, religion, career are gone.
Only the deed of compassion continues to live on.
Many grains of kindness make a beach,
The story told, is ours to teach.
By example we must make a stand
And offer the suffering a helping hand.
If no thank you comes our way,
We must be gracious at the end of the day.
To do the right thing is our endeavour.
And the act of kindness will live for ever.
Harvest’s Dream Top
Muscle and hoe prepare the soil,
long days in the field we had to toil.
Our precious seed we have sorted and stored,
waste is not something we can now afford.
The rain is heralded by a thunderous roar,
Spikes of water strike, strike the floor.
The first rain only damps the earth,
but gives us hope of a new rebirth.
To plant or not the seed we cherish,
If we’re wrong, we may wither or perish.
The rain sweeps in on its daily quest.
To banish the brown and green the nest.
The seed responds to this daily shout,
leaves so big and stalks so stout.
The seed pods swell with glorious pride
From the rain they now must hide.
Rain clouds vanish from the unfolding scene
Now we are in our harvest’s dream.
CD4 Count 201 Top
Elisa was positive about what she foretold.
The diagnosis was more than a cold.
Western Blot, not a web site it seems.
Confirmed my fears and adds to the screams.
As my confusion swells the tears,
Memories recall the passing years.
Thoughts and dreams are all entwined.
As the mystery, I try to unwind.
My mothers milk so pure at birth.
Wasn’t the cause of this hell on earth.
Unlike a sweet kiss on sweating skin,
The malicious culprit lurks deep within.
Body fluids so essential to life,
Transport the guilty to cause nothing but strife.
My body’s protection is under the blade.
Medication can only hold back the onset of Aids.
The longing for life may never be won.
But hope is victorious and the fight will go on.
Footnote: CD4 is the name of the cell that helps to protect us. 200 is the CD4 cell count below which you have aids. ELISA is the name of the test for HIV and Western Blot is the test to comfirm ELISA .
Dear God. Top
Last night you sent a magnificent display of thunder and lightening, but, and I know you must be busy being a single parent and all, but what about the rain? Even your living oracle on Earth the sage of all knowledge Google said there would be rain this week. Not many people know where Malawi is, but I would have thought you would know, as we have mentioned it many times, as last year you sent use so much rain it destroyed our crops and washed away our houses and we our still suffering. We have done our bit, hoed and planted the fields etc, some give homage on Saturday, most on Sunday’s and s few on Fridays. I know we are not so good at following your guidance during the week, but we are working on it. If you don’t sort out the hiccup in the rain supply we may be joining you sooner than expected. If we do meet and you have a returns policy I would like to come back as a panda. The sex and food are not so great, but people love them and they seam to have things set up nicely. If not a panda then maybe climate scientist or president of some small country as they have an income for life whether they are right or wrong, anything other than a subsistence farmer.
Best regards V. Concerned