Don’t turn away

autumn

I am blessed, food is plentiful
it is so easy to take this for granted
there are stomachs that only know hunger
lands where only famine is their companion

I am blessed, water flows strong
it is so easy to take this for granted
without the rains dams will dry up
sun-baked soils, cracked and dried

we have seen pictures of famine
babies malnourished, emancipated
eyes bleak, emptiness looking back
we turn away, shutting them out

have we hardened our hearts?
not to feel overwhelmed
do we close our eyes?
so as not to feel guilty

the beggar at the corner street
a con-artist or one to be pitied?
waiting to prey on the kind-hearted
or hoping someone will show mercy

homeless, without shelter from the cold
once proud, a steady job, a family, safe
now all is lost, each day a living hell
disillusioned in a world of material things

where do we place what’s important?
there are so many crying out
how do we give without breaking down
they are pulling at us silently

have empathy for those who are hurting
the marginalised, the poor, in slums
be strong, open your eyes, don’t turn away
continue pleading for humanity to care

By C.E. Pereira
(11-5-2014)

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