Land of Gourmet Popcorn
The great Sahara is spreading south
like a dry cancer, to Senegal;
the wells have deep coughs,
the river basins drained of crops,
as herders sell their skinny goats.
The TV fills with lean faces of the elders
and the swollen bellies of children.
Soon there will be nothing to sell or salvage
but the howling of hunger.
We watch the evening news,
with fist fulls of flavored popcorn-
glazed florescent colors of the day-
tutti fruiti, cherry-papaya
raspberry-lime passion fruit,
fresh from the gourmet popcorn display.
“What can we do, what can be done?
We give to the church and to charities.
Are we to fertilize the parched sands?
Can we hold the desert back?
Forgive us for the limits of our giving.
Forgive us for not crying as you wail,
forgive us, forgive us for living well,
forgive our shallow hopes and prayers.
After the annoying jingles for shampoo,
we go on to weather and sports,
our mouths occupied with popcorn,
to keep those extra pounds off.
Click on the file below to listen to the recording:
Mark Fishbein (poet with Guitar) is a poet musician now living in Chicago. He has several books including the most recent “Reflections in the Time of Trumpius Maximus” (Atmosphere Press). Mark is Chancellor of PGN-Poetry Global Network’s “The Poetry Academy”, a zoom event creator (Planet Poetry 28) and hosts 2 weekly poetry workshops. As a musician, Mark often accompanies his readings with his eclectic classical guitar style. Contact through website : www.poetwithguitar.com
The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!