Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hunger Strikes

credit: UNHCR Photo Download.

When hunger strikes
Bullets become morsels and 
The war rages on,
The cause forgotten as
Brother kills brother and humanity weeps.
The sky mourns as streets turn red.
What was this for? I forget,
Memory now a contested terrain
Because our lives are tethered to puppeteers
plotting and planning proxy-wars,
Betting our lives for their gains.
Snap. My sister falls
Snap. Our mother wails
What was left of my soul seep out of my face
But the war rages on.
As my eyes begin to fade
I dream of soft bread, crumbling in my mouth,
cool milk cascading down parched throat
Of that lingering sweetness of a meal
where fear isn’t doled out with tea and
Death isn't an uninvited dinner guest.
But my right to dream has long been seized,
So here,
Take what remains of me.


  1. You know what's the best part of reading your poems? Knowing that you'll outdo yourself, as always. This one is solid proof.

    The imagery here is so arresting - and that's arresting with a capital A and emphasized in italics. Loved the following lines so so so much: "Bullets now morsels", "memory now a contested terrain" and the closing lines (where fear isn't...)

    This poem gave a whole new level of meaning to 'haunting'. And it is, without a doubt, your best one yet.

    1. Thank you so much Zainab! I always look forward to reading your comments! I wrote this after a watching a particularly distressing video..and my mind kept going back to images of the crying refugees and this one particular boy who tried to be brave and then broke down in tears :(

  2. Every line of your poem reveals that your heart is aching and overwhelmed with sadness,
    We are all aware that what is happening all about us is nothing short of madness,
    You have beautifully brought out what the wages of war entail,
    Brother ends up killing brother and mothers sit around and wail,
    With the line 'What was left of my soul seep out of my face',
    The whole poem falls into place,
    And reveals that man has not just fallen from grace,
    He has become a total disgrace,
    The scourges of war are death, destruction, hunger and refugees,
    Faces have turned waxen and from the honeycombs there is an exodus of bees.