Hey, lighten up man….

Oh Tony, you’re such a killjoy!! Lighten up man…. (This was written on receiving the news that I knew was coming… friends I’ve eaten with, laughed with, loved. Now suffering the consequences of the rainy season failing… two years in a row.)


Famine has come.

I just got word from my friends. It’s official.

Tears fill my eyes as I write this.


What sort of a planet am I living on?

your value as a person, what you’re worth,

an accident of birth.

Those of us who ‘have’, have a starting point,

should we so choose, to have more.

While the have-nots fall through the floor of the world.


How do you better yourself, improve your life,

when there isn’t even a starting point?


Becoming faceless. Or rather

just another one in a sea of faces.

I wring my hands at the enormity,

the scale. I exist, as a person.

These do not. They are the collective.

The refugees, the hungry,

the swollen bellies and stick limbs,

the dispossessed,

the bombed, the drowned,

the dead children.


Victims of famine? of war?

No. Not really.

Victims of the politics of madness.

How did we let this happen?

How did we let this happen?


For a hungry child,

political parties are obstacles.

Money given to charity is insufficient and too late.

‘Beautiful People’ making movies about their emotional crises, utterly irrelevant.

Bankers and speculators, spending their stolen money, a slap in the face of mercy.


Nothing will change,

unless people take back power.

But we won’t.

Some say, because of this, our future as a species is dark indeed.

Because we put our fate into the hands of the power hungry, the corrupt,

the ones without vision except their own tunnel vision for personal profit.

The profit which, even with such animal cunning, they can’t take to their graves.

Their graves on which I slow dance in the moonlight.


The only light,

candle flame for sure, but a light nonetheless

Is the will of those who act, not necessarily to change,

maybe just to help.

Moved by compassion, individual acts

from the heart of one human being, to another.


Those who never turn their backs saying, ‘what problem?’




8 thoughts on “Hey, lighten up man….

    1. Thanks Yassy (I never know what name to give you!), I’m glad you appreciate the poem, though I took no pleasure in writing it…it was more ‘wrung out of me’ (!) by a mixture of anguish and anger at the state of the world I inhabit. It still brings tears to my eyes to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tony sir, I will not praise the words you put in but will try to find the “worth” of one’s being alive when some of his fellow beings on this earth are dying of hunger, others are forced to live their lives in refuge camps. Some murdered, others humiliated, some others decapitated in the name of religion.
    I always pray to God as-
    “O God be merciful enough on me to keep having my bread and give me a feel of satisfaction when I have some “spare” so that I may give it to one who needs it.”
    Some old holy scriptures and texts in “HINDUISM” mentions that -one should earn good by working hard so that he may eat good, keep his family in good condition and then after he has earned sufficient to make his future safe he should start donating to the needy. What collected more than needed is waste untill it may be utilised by someone who needs it.
    May God take me to a good status so that I may have sufficient.
    May Gof give me a heart which can feel pain and need of others and may God give me an ability to give deliberately to one who is in need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If everyone took that to heart, to feed oneself then tend to the needy, there would indeed be a radical change to society. But most are so wrapped up in their own affairs they don’t give a second thought to others. Thanks for this great comment Vikas, and the beautiful prayer. I so much value dialogue like this!

      Liked by 1 person

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