It is difficult, with the warmth of a small dog in my lap;
to write about the stream of
terrorized, displaced people
fleeing xenophobia
Freezing. Starving.

Oh, how hard it is, in my rocking chair by my fireside;
to compose a poem
about a manโ€™s anguish
forcibly restrained
from entering a burning house
to save his wife and children.

What a burden I must bear, such choices I must make:
What shoes to wear to afternoon tea?
I have an avocado that must be used!
Wherever did I leave my rings?
Have you seen my keys?

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38 Comments Add yours

  1. Loreen Lee says:

    Don’t feel badly. As they say – we can only write about what we know. And who is to know whether than man who is restrained from saving his children, may not day write a poem about it. Even if that poem be writ in the book of life, and kept in the annals of heaven. Enjoy your tea.

    1. Loreen Lee says:

      may not some day write a poem about it… Also maybe the doing is the writing and we thus each of us live the poem within us……

      1. theonlycin says:

        Right now I believe they have him on suicide watch. Poor, poor man.


      2. Loreen Lee says:

        I read the article. It said he jumped from an upper story window. This is not to detract from his pain and suffering, and the terrible guilt that he may feel. When their stories are with us, we may of course, feel compassion. Even empathy. But if we allowed ourselves to be seriously, and personally affected by every story of desperation and pain that happens, we would also soon be on suicide watch. The pain of others, as your poem on the subject shows, does make us grateful for the mercies that have been granted to us; and sharing without breaking down ourselves other’s grief, may help us in time of our own woe, to pull through the difficulty, and see our own pain in a better, or with a Buddhist ‘more detached’, perspective. Your poem was an excellent statement, in itself, and the thought it expressed very worthwhile to note and say.

      3. theonlycin says:

        This particular incident is close enough to home that the smoke was visible. Our community is reeling.

      4. Loreen Lee says:

        Sounds like it is ‘close to home’ in more than a physical sense. When the tragedies of others affect us to such a degree as this, it does truly become a learning experience for us, and may enrich our capacity for compassion. I join you in saying a prayer not only for the man, but for the family, the wife and children, that we all have lost. All the best Cindy.

      5. theonlycin says:

        Thank you Loreen.

  2. Adeeyoyo says:

    Our humdrum lives do take precedence over more important things that do not affect us personally. Excellent contrasts!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m sombre today, adee.

  3. Ilse Salzwedel says:

    Indeed. We have no clue. Please read my post yesterday, and, if you can, place a link to it. Or copy it here.

    Hugs! (We must go for that tea next week!)

    1. theonlycin says:

      I have added the link Ilse.

  4. JustMe says:

    Very true! Makes one realise how much we have to be grateful for.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hi JM, we don’t step back and take stock often enough.

  5. Ilse Salzwedel says:

    You’re a darling! Thanks so much!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Plesier ou dier, jammer ek kan nie meer help nie.

  6. buttercup600 says:

    Just make sure the shoes are red darling!! Great imagery…so skilfully written!! Lekker dag vir jou vriendin ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. theonlycin says:

      Dankie skat, wanner gaan slaap jy?

      1. buttercup600 says:

        Dis nou 5.45pm….nog lankkkkkkkkk nie!! Seker so teen 10uur vanaand (net om wakker te word 4uur in die oggend!!) Blerrie hormone ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Lovies x

      2. theonlycin says:

        Damn hormones … tell me about it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  7. buttercup600 says:

    8 ure verskil tussen jou en my:( Ek is besig met my eerste wyntjie)…cheers vriendin!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Cheers! *dips Ouma rusk in coffee*

      1. buttercup600 says:

        Please…can I have some…ek sal my siel verkoop vir dip ‘n Ouma!! x

      2. theonlycin says:

        *passes over pack of buttermilk Oumas*

  8. No one seems to know where this old saying came from, but I grew up with it:

    “I cried because I had no shoes… until I met a man who had no feet.”

    It is all, I think, perspective.

  9. nrhatch says:

    Wonderful poem, Cindy.

    You’ve captured so much life in so few words.

  10. halfp1nt says:

    Beautifully written, Cin. I can’t begin to imagine what that poor man is going through.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is beyond comprehension Shorty.

      1. Loreen Lee says:

        Perhaps, Cindy, some day he may be able to apply the following adage to himself:
        One day, if you persist with your wish to learn the truth of yourself, you’ll be able to say, “I know so much now about the nature of pain that it just can’t hurt me anymore!”

        There is never a good reason to give up effort to develop more fully the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity!

  11. Kavita says:

    To each, his(her) problems…
    I really liked the way you’ve constructed this poem, Cindy! Very cleverly and nicely done!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Much appreciated comment Kavita.

  12. colonialist says:

    Thought-provoking as always.

    Who can tell whether that persona which is ourselves is not about to face a similar situation, or has not faced one such many times before?

    We should allow ourselves to dwell upon it only if we can, as a result, help with a solution.

    1. theonlycin says:

      That’s true Col.

  13. Tokeloshe says:

    Very well done as always.

    Take care

    1. theonlycin says:

      You take care too Tok.

  14. slpmartin says:

    When I see others live as I travel…I realize my many blessings…you’ve addressed several key issues in such a matter-of-fact way that the contrast strengthens the message…well done.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Bless you slpmartin, sleep well.

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