I Am The Affluent Society

Written in 1972, this shows how long have been writing verse and how long I have been a political animal. I still despair of the human inertia that I write about here.

Tell me why, when I see so much beauty,
Do I feel such despair for mankind?
When the Summer blooms forth
And the swallows fly North,
Why does Winter’s gloom prey on my mind?

Why, when I look at my full-filled meal plate,
Am I haunted by Kwashiokor?
Why, when I sit in peace,
Does my sadness increase
And my thoughts fill with horror and war?

When I look at sweet, yellow laburnum,
Why do I see a suffering child?
When my enchanted eyes
Gaze at azure blue skies,
Why are they shedding tears for the blind?

Tell me why, when I’ve had entertainment,
Don’t I dwell on the joy I’ve derived,
But instead fill my head
With the poor and the dead
And the lonely, the sick and deprived?

Do the pictures that advertise Oxfam
Have to blind me to beauty and art?
Why don’t pictures I see
Make me joyful and free
From the pain that I feel in my heart?

Though my thoughts of injustice and hunger
Make me grow sad and ponder and weep,
Still I think, never act,
Leave my lifestyle in tact,
Eat my fill and fall soundly asleep!

© Lynne Joyce, 16/6/1972.