I’m joining Ruth for her ‘Word for Wednesday’ again this week. Emaciated is this week’s word (after my comment about a previous word, emancipated, which I muddled the meaning for with emaciated – but luckily had checked before writing).
..Do you remember the news reports of the 1980s Ethiopian famine? Michael Berke’s 1984 report for the BBC news was recently highlighted by the BBCNewsbeat website in an article telling why nothing’s changed in 30 years as Ethiopia and other countries face imminent risk of famine conditions, due to either civil war in some cases (such as Syria, Sudan etc) or extreme weather, such as the droughts affecting Ethiopia – and not forgetting the affects on agriculture due to flooding in some other parts of the world.
Earth’s emaciation was one way I was tempted to go, instead, gripped by famine, my keys seemed to know that with all of the reading I did to prepare, I could save all those notes for a series more fair – and considered a poem was fit for today and conclude it’s a prayer to keep hunger at bay:
A Poem (newly written today, so far untitled)
We often say ‘I’m starving!’
when we only mean we’re peckish –
or so very ravenous,
we’d say ‘I could eat a horse!’
We take our food for granted,
rarely, if ever, giving grace
and spare little thought of hunger
as we sit before full plates.
Still history forewarns,
repeats and cyles soon re-spin –
and all our extreme weathers
could bring round widespread famine.
If civil war was up our street
with no way in or out,
we’d struggle for our milk and bread
of this there is no doubt.
Imagine when food prices soar
for there being less supply,
three hundred times the usual cost
while your coffers are bone dry..
If you believe the world’s less hungry now,
then just take a good look round-
the figures are quite shocking
where aid is needed on the ground.
Have you seen the Hunger map?
And while we’re sure to care,
stilled in consumer bubble, trapped,
sure we can make little difference there.
And when you see your neighbours
looking thin and gaunt and worn,
do you take action for their welfare
or say it’s no concern of yours?
Maybe you’re too polite to ask
if there’s help you’d gladly give
and in six months you learn they starved
when with a little food they’d live.
© Colette B…., The Wishing Well, 2016
I’m not sure how much good it does to click to give at the Hungersite, but it’s free to click; when I was in very poor circumstances and hungry every day for several months, a free cup of rice or bulgar wheat or other basic food would have made a big difference. I was lucky because I could borrow small amounts of money each week to increase my debt and have some food. I became incredibly thin, but never to the emaciated stage.
Emaciation is the near-terminal (and terminal) stage of starvation, the body having digested it’s own fat, muscle, available organ tissue, leaving just enough survival capacity, and literally skin and bone – but it is amazing to see how such very hungry and weakened people in African / Asian /other countries still manage somehow to carry their loved ones, or water (if available), or walk and run toward aid distribution. But while it’s ‘amazing’, it’s horrifying that in our ‘civilised’ world, with all the wonders of technology, communication and science, that such desperate hunger still exists.
The children pictured above in this tweet don’t appear emaciated – and that’s a good thing – but millions of children suffer severe food insecurity, extreme hardship, malnutrition and may be on the brink of starvation. We should as a global society be able to conquer childhood hunger, but will we ever? And when is it ever ok to leave anyone to die for the lack of food?
The Hunger site’s twitter account appears inactive currently, maybe due to volunteer shortage or something, but their website is still active. I hope it’s not a religious scam, there are too many of those. If I manage to remember to do just one thing each day to help someone somewhere be less hungry, I must remember to click to give.