sheena blackhall

Rookie - 289 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Human Guinea Pig (2 poems, English)


Do you know what it is to be poor?

I was paid 1 anna
For every mosquito that bit me
One hot Bengali summer
During the time of the Raj
The white man’s power and money outweighed fear
And for a while my plate was piled with food

Do you know what it is to be poor?

It seems that I gave my consent
By thumbprint, (I cannot write)
To trials of something or other
(The doctor talked so fast
And seemed so kind
Telling me that my baby son was special)

Now my child is dust and tears
On the Delhi pavement where I lay my head

Do you know what it is to be poor?

My family are Dalits, Indian Untouchables
5 rupee voucher, that’s the stretch of our medicine

The hospital head man said that my wife was lucky
Chosen by a charity, for treatment
Costs ran to hundreds, even a Bollywood star
Could not afford such very expensive treatment

I should have smelled a rat
There was no autopsy, no answers
In the Western war of drugs against disease
We are collateral damage.

Do you know what it is to be poor?

A Buddhist Valentine

I love the silence that invites the birds
To hop un-frightened round the open shrine

I love the heart that welcomes sky and earth
Where all things intermingle and combine

I love the mind that opens up to all
The lotus in the mud, whose petals shine

Submitted: Monday, January 06, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Human Guinea Pig (2 poems, English) by sheena blackhall )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Acquainted with the Night, Robert Frost
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. A Winter Walk, Phil Soar
  2. The Heart Foretells, Patti Masterman
  3. Louisiana Weather (Short), Nika McGuin
  4. Darling Dare, katusiime jeresi
  5. That And This, Indira Renganathan
  6. Florette's Woods, Nika McGuin
  7. Merger, Nalini Jyotsana Chaturvedi
  8. Naat-Zaufishan Nabi Hayn, Akhtar Jawad
  9. Extension, Asit Kumar Sanyal
  10. Of the old church, Emmanuel George Cefai
[Hata Bildir]