Homeless and Hungry
Where do I go to be safe?
Where, oh where do my children
and I get a bite to eat during
Let it be told so someone can help
our stomachs not to hurt.
So hungry, so cold at night!
My babies can not stop crying
Fear and pains reasons why.
Change gotta come for survival
Hard times drive us to be Homeless
Wide-eyed Innocent Children stare
All babies know are severe pains of hunger
All babies want are a peanut butter and jelly
How about an apple, how about a
banana, or sip of milk, some juice.
Hear babies’ feeble cry
Listen how they whimper.
Can you please show us way to
shelter and food?
Food will take away pain
Unite to help rid our hunger, help
Mothers stay sane.
Unity brings phenomenal change.
Thank you for awesome help you
give to ex out gloom.
So my babies will stop crying
So my babies will have cover
over head soon
Sylvia Dianne Beverly (Ladi Di) entered this poem about food waste in the 2018 World Food Day Poetry Prize competition. A collection of her work is housed at George Washington University's Gelman Library. Ladi Di celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Host Grace Cavalieri, reading on her show "The Poet and the Poem" at the Library of Congress Experience.
Poem by Milton Carp
Hunger is the Norm
The child, a mere skeleton,
looks up with glazed over
eyes, and a blank stare.
I look back and wish to
help, too feed him,
but it is too late.
His frail body
nourishment. We are
into the eyes of death.
He accepts it without
question. For, you see,
to him starvation and
death are the norm.
Milton says, “My poems are not entirely mine. They belong to the people and events of my passage through life. The sum of my life experiences, with more to come, I am sure. Once the dam is breached its contents flow unabridged. I also express myself through my art and craft work of dream catchers and mini sculptures. With the support of family and friends I continue to be creative and productive.”
Poem by Joyce Williams Graves
MOM, NO MORE
I know it’s not right to say,
But, Mom, there’s not enough food for
My six siblings and me to eat.
You see, I wanted another peanut butter
and jam sandwich last night.
But, you said, “Only one sandwich per child.”
It’s just too many of us to feed, Mom.
We are always hungry and sad.
Mom, I know you are doing your best,
But my stomach tells me it needs more food.
Maybe if you pray another hour,
God will hear your cry—and the growls of my stomach!
Hunger is not the best feeling for a child.
It’s not good for a growing child, you know.
All I think about is eating a good, hot meal.
I do believe it will get better one day.
But until it does,
No more babies.
The cry of a seven-year-old boy--
Joyce Williams Graves is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia. She lives in Fort Washington, MD (over 20 years) with her husband Glen Graves. She is a woman of faith. She has been retired for 7 years. Ms. Graves worked at the Environmental Protection Agency for 22 years for the Office of Inspector General as an Information Technology (IT) manager. She is an Entrepreneur and works as an independent skincare consultant (Jafra International) for 8 years. She has been a US Notary Public for over 30 years. Ms. Graves is a playwright. Her play is called, “Cotton Field to Concert Hall.” It was performed at the Public Playhouse (2017) and the Kennedy Center (2018). Her hobbies are painting, writing poems, swimming, walking, playing chess. Ms. Graves is a Numismatist (Coins Collector).
Poem by Anna Yin
On our bed
we lie like flatfish.
Outside, stars grow older.
The moon, a white cocoon,
casts its image on the river.
In sparse shadows
a willow dangles.
Along the thorn fences
once being the fire
drawing the moth
flapping its wings
to flames of love.
Anna Yin was Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and has authored five collections of poetry and “Mirrors and Windows” (Guernica Editions) in 2021. Her poems/translations have appeared at ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, World Journal etc. Anna won several poetry awards and also teaches Poetry Alive. Her website: annapoetry.com
Poem by Faris Ahmed
Fractured Food System Blues
(a blues in 5 voices)
They call me a small farmer, but I’ve got a big list of to-do’s
Feed the world… cool the planet…
Try walking just one day in my shoes
Cause, I got the Fractured Food System Blues
I’m Jamaican, but I’m kneeling down on your land
Never Canadian, but what you’re eating was picked by these hands
No rights, no shelter, no heat in winter,
And the worst kinds of abuse
I've got the Fractured Food System Blues
I’m a community garden, right in your neighborhood
I can connect friends & families, young & old
Leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, of all sizes, shapes and hues
To wash away your Fractured Food System Blues
We’re Food Policy Councils, now how do you put that in a song
Peoples voices and ideas that make decision-making strong!
But inclusive governance mechanisms will never make the news
We’ve got the Fractured Food System Blues
Agroecology and food sovereignty
We’re more than just words, or theories, or novelty
We’re the roadmap, and the journey, so go ahead and take your cues
We’re Transformative Pathways, for your Fractured Food System Blues.
Click on the file below to listen to the poem:
Faris Ahmed is a poet from Ontario, Canada.
Poem by Linda Pastan
In the battle between
thirst may win.
And yet the song
of the empty belly
fills the air
with its plaintive
Linda Pastan’s 14th book of poems, Insomnia, was published in October of 2015. In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. Almost An Elegy will be published by Norton in 2022
The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!