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Allegiance to no
We hear the call loud and clear
and keep away because of fear
Peering through curtain and blind
pulled ever slightly, the wife or husband standing behind
still, as we hear the call
The child comes to the door
"We are selling candies for our school."
"Not today," we say, eyes to the floor
with shame and feelings disgraced
But knowing horror stories of candies laced
wisely ignored the request for
There on sidewalks, streets, the subway
begging and cajoling, aggressively or in dismay
Their eyes tell their individual story
of hurt, abuse, poverty and worryWe look away elusively, to avoid
to sanitize our actions and minds, devoid
of the responsibility for those seekingHelp!
Life goes on. They remain perpetually
fixtures on our landscape everyday1% at the top say they will go away eventually
90% at the bottom hope and pray: "I. Me,"
may never have to lament for
Today it's him or her
friend, stranger or neighborTomorrow it may be me
It's not that we do not care
It's the reality of a fear
of repercussion, threat, retribution, or a telephone call
that prevents us to be involved
when we hear the plea forHelp!
They fail themselves, family, friends, with tears
Self esteem eroded lost over the years
The bottom 90% swelling, the 1% smiling
The in-between surely disappearing
Less government some demand
while the plight of the wretched gets out of hand
Charities are larger, churches ask for more.
Neither government, charity or church cures the growing sore
yearning for responses to the cry forHelp!
Poem from if only the gods were awake by Gary Girdhari, A Guyana
Journal Publication, New York, USA, May 2011.
We Are (Not) Involved!
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Gary, a Guyanese-
American living in
New York, is the
Editor and Publisher
of the Guyana Journal.
Trained in the
natural sciences, he
ventured into the
world of poetry in the
His poems in if only
the gods were awake
were written over
several years. They
speak to nostalgic
and love, nature and
society, war and
What is life if we do not care?
if we are mute out of fear?
To stand idle and just stare
is failure I do declare.
"My Psalm of Life" by Gary Girdhari
from if only the gods were awake, May 2011