Friday, January 15, 2010

poetry Challenge #23: Haiti poem.

I'm sure many of you have been affected by the stories and images coming out of Haiti over the past few days. I think it appropriate to lend our talents in honor and tribute to the noble spirit of the aid workers and the fallen in the disaster-stricken country.

Here is my best effort for now; I may come back and fix this up at some point.

What remains when everything
is subtracted from a place
with nothing left to give?

A deceptive paradise;
pristine beaches embracing
shantytowns and starving people
praying for a ray of light.

Now all the poor have left
is hope; blind, yet determined;
groping, but tenacious;
stumbling, but stoic.

Pain-filled eyes lift up to the sky,
waiting for what horror might happen next.
Parched mouths open, gladly taking water
as they wait for medicine, bandages, food.

Slowly, a beleaguered people
find their way out of the rubble
of their past lives, seeking
for a new and better way.

After all, it cannot possibly
get any worse,
can it?


Anonymous said...

Adding tragedy
To the pre-existing ones,
With its crushing weight.


paige said...


danger lurks where desperation has crept in –
hope peeks from behind broken walls & destroyed dwellings –
anger, hatred and frustration compound the devastation
grace knocks gently at doors with broken hinges.

Looters howl in greed, delighted with darkness –
Mothers whisper tender croonings of love.
for a moment it seems that ravaging ruin will be victorious-
amidst the raging storm, His hands carry.

Minerva said...

Cicely--an apropos haiku for an overwhelming situation. 1,000 points for packing it all in there.

Paige--gorgeous. I love the line about grace knocking on broken-hinged doors. 1,000 points for encapsulating the profound hope in the midst of despair.

Alicia said...

I know it took me a lot longer than I wanted it to, but I'm pretty happy with this result.

Lives lost
Among the rubble
Of buildings not strong enough
To withstand the natural force.
Families devastated
So many torn apart.
For us,
Cozy on the couch
We find perspective.
Perhaps my life isn't so hard,
My sadness isn't so overwhelming,
My pain is a little more tolerable.
In this realization,
We join together.
Hand in hand,
Doing what we can to help.
So while there are lives lost,
Hope can be found.

cicely said...

See? Everyone here is far more eloquent than I am! It isn't as if I don't have the vocabulary; goodness knows, it isn't that! And yet..... (/Daffy Duck)

Alicia, I especially like the part about the Haiti disaster lending perspective to those of us safely distant from the situation.

Completely Off-Topic, Totally Unsolicited Haiku

Doesn't Jupiter
Look like a giant agate
Rolling through the sky?

Look here:

Ah, those rippling, translucent bands of color!


cicely said...

Haha! Yes!! Now Google knows my name!

Minerva said...

Alicia--very well-put tribute to Haiti; I agree with Paige that I love how you capture how disasters like this put our own problems into perspective. 1,000 points for a very perceptive poem.

Cicely--it's not a matter of your eloquence (which you certainly possess), it's a matter of different styles. I think you are particularly excellent in the pithy, compact poems and observations you gravitate towards, while a lot of us need a few more words to get there sometimes. :) Thanks for sharing the Jupiter pic!