Namibia ~ The Unchosen?

This is a repost to remind us that we, the spoiled and the blessed, have indeed been very
blessed and no doubt very spoiled. We have read of pestilence and death, of shortages
and isolation and probably at times have pushed it from our crowded minds. May God bless us all.

The soul of hunger
is a bare tree
beneath a burning sun.
O! God
of Earth and Heaven

bless this aching space.
Feed our little ones;
don’t let the dessert
swallow them up.
Spare us the locust

and that awful virus.
If we cannot escape
the bees
may they bring honey
free from sting.

Life
has brought us
to our knees,
Even as we pray for rain
we thank You for the sun.

 

NEW YORK TIMES AUG. 7, 1986

The United States Agency for International Development, which has set aside $5 million for projects to fight what it believes could potentially be the worst plague of locusts in Africa in 60 years,

Published on 14 Mar 2006

The Namibian, confirmed that members of the community, who live in western Caprivi, had consumed contaminated rice collected from the floor of a food warehouse, said Gabriel Kangowa, deputy director of the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) who conducted the investigation, said the 1,600-member community had received food assistance earlier in the year and were told that the spoilt rice was meant for their chickens and pigs. “But people were hungry and the unemployment rate is very high in the area – they had no choice but to also eat this rice,” he told IRIN.

2012

Two serious droughts have occurred in the past three years – drought this year reduced national crop yields to 46 percent below the sixteen-year average.

2015

Poverty, unemployment and HIV /AIDS remain major factors behind hunger and undernourishment in Namibia.

May 10th, 2019

Namibia has been experiencing a persistently stubborn drought for the past six years, which has killed an unspecified number of livestock across the country, estimated to be worth millions of dollars. The Prime Minister told governors that it was clear that the “livelihoods of the majority of Namibians, especially those that depend on agricultural activities is threatened.”

The Good News Is:

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila  this week announced a N$573 million drought package aimed at helping farmers and families affected by the drought.

Those affected would receive food assistance; water tanks and livestock marketing incentives. Farmers will also be provided with transport subsidy to and from grazing areas, and transport for fodder to the drought affected farmers especially in communal areas.

“This is to be done immediately, so that such support reach our farmers,” she said.

She also announced that the Ministry of Defense will contribute trucks, three per region to be used in the distribution. “Given the extent of the drought, these interventions will require the support of all Namibians, and we must avoid delays and wastages in order to safeguard our people who are affected

 There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Seek and you shall find. Matthew 7:7

Who Is that Masked Man?

Gone, the squeal of doors
that hermetically seal our children,
sans seatbelts, into rows that overflow
beyond the cushioned seats
made softer to protect.

I miss the sights and sounds
of those pencil yellow buses,
absent now as if engaged
in perpetual
recess.

Teachers, students, and all
the stages in between are learning
an in depth meaning of furlough.
Suddenly we are aware of the slightest
sneeze, the merest twinge

that might propel us
into that hinterland of quarantine
where skin tone and language
merge into one,  and masks protect
both the guilty and the innocent.

Found Gold

While sorting through old papers, I found a poem written by Willowdown, a deceased poet from the family of poets at The Peaceful Pub (the peacefulpub.com). It struck a chord with me today so I thought I would share it. (Reprinted with prior permission)

A Beclouding of the Consciousness by Willowdown

Submissive to the pen
the poet scribbles little secrets,
mere snippets of the greater self
in the search for perfection,
inebriated by the effort,
giddy with the gift of life –
On his knees now
he studies the violet,
sees the shades and shapes,
the sensuous dewdrops,
the exuberant bloom of rainbows
on the petals.

At noon he weeps
as the violet withers beneath the boiling sun
– too wilted to hold its form,
his grief too great to go on.
In trembling trance
he thinks of death, others’,
his own, the violet’s,
and through the after hours of morning
he imprints the earth with despair.
Prostrate he sprawls in resignation,
failing every dream

And then the sun goes down.
The violet stretches its tiny limbs,
utters a sigh almost inaudible,
opens it mouth like a new kitten
and blooms
to its fullest height –
a jewel beheld by jewel’ed eye.
The poet rises
in amazement at his creation,
a genius now. If not a god,
then pretty close.

 

To enjoy more of Willowdown’s work and tributes to him, check out these links:

His pen and ink drawings:

https://smzangpoetry.blogspot.com/p/willowdown-pen-pg-2.html

A Willowdown Memorial:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190612140559/http:/www.wordflair.net/willowdownmemorial.html

 

On a Day Like Today

No page stays blank
when sunshine bursts through the window
like an exuberant child chasing a fly ball,
unaware there could be barriers of any sort.

The rays break in, ignoring window panes
that are less than glistening… a mundane
thing on a day when March skips straight
to spring and the whole world joins in

the celebration. It’s as if the robins knew
this would happen. Thirty seconds after
the sun’s great declamation, they came,
already in tune and singing

the grandest song.  On a day like today
there is no yesterday or tomorrow,
just the sun, the song and the majesty
of harmony.

The Inherent Value of Rainbows and Smiles

Be still
and hear the whisper
of a misty rain
calling to a rainbow
waiting in the wings,

Its walk
across the stage
as brief as ours, but
oh the joy it brings.
One glance

and the song birds
sing. That inspires
the sun to shine. Sublime,
the plan that sets it all
in motion.

Do you
ever get the notion
it was designed
with you in mind?
Perhaps

a message
that someone somewhere
is waiting for a rainbow
to turn their frown
upside down.

Might be
a good idea (just in case
that’s so) to carry your smile
with you, no matter
where you go.

In the Shadow of Monarchs…the truth and the timing.

monarch

I once thought it would be cool
to winter in Mexico, to move
tribal toward a warmer climate,
to huddle together with myriad
cousins, but dwindling census
suggests that the time for that
has passed.

It was the shadows that turned my mind
in a different direction…nothing as astute
as Plato’s Cave, Just a vision of wings fluttering,
morphing into a hand holding a pen.  We are all
somewhat chained to a wall, like Plato’s people.
Maybe the pen is our wings and a feeble imagination
is our chain.

Maybe the metaphysics of monarchs
is the fittest reflection of truth and timing,
or maybe the first crocus born of a new spring
is just a lesson in faith and not really an intent of proof
for the poet or the purveyor of pens.  Maybe it is true
that in time all poets will shed their chains
and grow wings.

Transfigured

Days draw near
when the meadow’s laced with buttercups
and daisies nod their pretty heads
in rhythm with the wind.

May we never weary
in our delight of seasons: the changing skies;
the golden rays. O! blessèd
is The Painter’s hand

that makes the flowers bloom
and blessèd are Spring’s promises
that bear the hopes and birth the faith
of ordinary man.