Child Poems: 55 / 500

Africa's Hungry Children

Rating: 5.0

A photograph appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in 1994...a malnourished dying child trying to crawl to a UN aid post a kilometer away...watched over by a vulture just waiting for the child to die...


Kevin Carter zoomed his camera lens, that day in’94,
A starving child in Sudan, was knocking at death’s door,
One vulture and one journalist; both mere meters away,
Both with different agendas; but a dying babe their prey.

A world stood aghast and horrified, by that photo in the Times,
Starvation’s morbid clock unveiled, its ticking and its chimes,
But two would reap the benefit of this poor child’s demise,
Sudan much needed food and aid… and Carter, a Pulitzer Prize.

We dare not stand in judgment; for we were never there;
Africa is an angry land; fermenting poverty and despair,
“Don’t touch the sick and dying” Kevin Carter had been told;
He abandoned that poor child, as other scenes did unfold.

Plagued by haunting vivid memories, of Africa’s en-rapt pain,
Those abandoned starving children, surely drove this man insane,
He observed first hand, our tragic land, we seldom comprehend;
Driving him, just three month hence… his tormented life to end.

Lord when will the suffering cease, in Africa so sublime?
Will ever we be a land, free of hunger, strife and crime?
Will the image of Kevin’s photo, open up our ailing eyes,
And open up our deaf ears…to our hungry children’s cries?
Alf Hutchison

MT 19: 14 But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Fay Slimm 28 July 2009

Alf you have captured this with all it's horror and pain - - saddest of all poems and must have been painful to write too...... heart wrenching....10 + ++ Fay.

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Ruth Walters 28 July 2009

A very poignant piece Alf, I'm sure there will be a few tears from the readers here on poemhunter. Ruth

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dr veenaa rai 24 July 2009

painful to read the pathetic state of affairs, , , poverty, hunger...so much pain...u ve written it with such intensity, my heart aches... can i help, somehow? 10+

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Yelena M. 24 July 2009

A very strong imagery and message of this poem..Every line is heartbreaking and delivers an emotion of suffering and pain.Excellently written, thanks for sharing, Alf. A.

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Obed Souza 23 July 2009

Children have been suffering not only in Africa. Excellent! Poignant depict of a sad reality. Would you please read ' Living poetry we live by'? Thanks I

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Chinedu Dike 28 May 2015

Beautifully piece of poetry depicting the deplorable nature of African jungle economy. A lovely poem insightfully penned with conviction and well graced with nice rhyme scheme. Thanks for sharing. Please read my poem MANDELA - THE IMMORTAL ICON.

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Hans Vr 02 July 2010

Wonderful and touching write, Alf. Extremely important topic.

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Stephen Stirk 29 July 2009

Exceptionally real, heart rending and potent piece which you have captured so very well. Best Steve

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Sarwar Chowdhury 29 July 2009

OMG! I am touched! a compact and crystal-clear pictograph! Oh childrens! Great eloquence dear Alf! 10+

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Tai Chi Italy 28 July 2009

Hello Alf, I don't usually read requests because my poetry is a need. It sustains me and has done for a long time, like food I suppose, but this subject of Africa and the starving millions is very close to my heart and always has been. When I was a child, newspapers were my literary food and I wept at the images of these starving children, dying, as you describe, right in front of the photographers eyes...images so distressing, any decent human being would be reduced to tears, and I, as a small child, did just that. Since growing up, I have had occasion to wonder how the photographers can keep shooting, as people are shot in front of them, or not feed the starving child they are photographing, and I realised that what they do, is bring the true picture home, to roast the souls of the 'West'. Some obviously are going for the money and the drama, but I doubt many do that job, for that reason. I have known good men hang themselves when confronted with tragedy, just doing their job, these images can stick fast to the soul and destroy us, BUT I say, keep taking them, if you are meant to be there, and can prevent other children from enduring such a pitiful end, keep taking those shots...Bombard the Public with them, make them see, just what their life styles are doing to hunanity...the majority on this planet live in poverty. Africa has a long history and is a formidible environment to survive in. Life is cheap, BUT the West can put back what they have stolen and still steal, but only if they have a conscience, which The Journalists and Photographers of our World' can influence. Great Write. God rest their souls. Smiling at you Tai

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