Sunday, 7 August 2016

Poverty Poem - Frank Joussen

It looks like the idyll from the Kipling story.
There are the huts, the dusty field paths,
peopled with sari girls
carrying milk, water, firewood,
the cooking women and the chatting men.
And at night the beast roams freely,
restlessly circling the sleeping village.
But the beast is inside, not outside,

roaring in the tummy of a sleepless boy,
poaching in the nether worlds
of unemployed men´s overactive minds.
Never falling prey to
the ingenuity of the hapless cooks
in front of their cold pans and empty pots.
Too clever, too streetwise to
ever be slain or expelled.

Only a girl with pen and writing pad
fresh from school stands the chance of catching it.
If you don´t send her away after college
to the Bombays and Bangalores,
the million cities India has become,
where she´ll forget these vivid images
and reproduce for the global village
the idyll from the Kipling story.

Frank Joussen (20th century) Germany
Source: Poetry Pacific

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