24 June 2014


First World

...And they have ray guns to dry their hair
And they sleep in beds above the floor
In sheets made of cotton...
And they have keys to lock their doors at night
And cool cupboards for their food
- I think they call them freejuice.
And outside their houses
They park their shiny  Japanese cars
And trim their grass with cutting machines
Not machetes
Leaving  emerald green carpets
And they keep photographs
Of their children and their pets
In biscuit tins -
Cats that curl up in baskets
And eat fish from cans
Fat dogs that wear bracelets round their throats.
And in their pockets
There are wallets filled with crisp new banknotes
Filled to bursting
So when they visit the big shop
They can buy anything they want
Anything at all.
See that aeroplane high up there
In the blue?
They are flying in that -
Watching movies and drinking wine

Going back to their place.


  1. Stunning and perceptive.

    1. So pleased you connected with this poem Marty.

  2. You have made me feel guilty. I was happy till I read this.

    1. I know you are not a big poetry man Adrian so the fact that you read it was great but that it also made you pause to think is even better. Thank you.

  3. Wonderful and a bit of a shock to see ourselves this way. We all know ourselves - versus the rest of the world - this way, but in print....More shocking than anything else is what we do for and how much money we spend on animals that share our homes with us when there are so many PEOPLE in our world with no homes.

    Adrian is right....it makes you feel guilty no matter how much you have worked and sacrificed for what materials you have.

    1. As privileged westerners we often imagine those poor devils in the so-called Third World. I don't know how the idea popped into my head but I thought that maybe people in that other, poorer world would sometimes view us like space aliens from an entirely different planet. We take so much for granted.

  4. I don't feel guilty, I think a time will come when the people - especially rural people - who are living without electricity and running water and other things that we who are presently privileged find essential, will have an advantage. It wouldn't take much of a disaster to make our cities useless and de-energize our electronic lives. We're living in a bubble. Someday it will pop, and the "meek" will truly inherit the Earth. They'll be the only ones who know how to survive. I love this poem.

    1. I don't think I was trying to elicit feelings of guilt. Your theory is plausible. The way things are going - feasting on finite natural resources, polluting the oceans, breeding like there's no tomorrow - maybe your vision will come true one day. Thanks for contemplating this poem in your busy post-retirement life.

  5. Yep. You've nailed it, YP.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth. I hope and believe that this was an original way of poetically highlighting the issue of world poverty.

  6. I watch a bee through the open door, busy on the poppies gently waving in the breeze. It is doing what bees do, happy in its own sweet world.

    Your poem this morning has made me stop and think as I drink my early morning cup of tea.



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