#poem #poetry #amwriting africa


compassion is not a virtue but a vice
just as nice isn't pleasant but an amalgam of
                                            neat and precise
and they exactly make a perfect pair
for the empathic to feel superior

oh I know I am heartless
    for daring to say
that I am greatly saddened
    by the knowledge
      most african university graduates
      dream of working for an NGO
      or being an emigre

but it's nice to have cut flowers
   in every retail outlet
and those out of season fruit and veg
they simply will not grow themselves
      and it is of vital import
   to pile them high on gaping shelves

and then there's all the minerals
what must be gathered in
uranium is valuable
as is bauxite and tin

    and those dark chaps in the way
    they must at once go away
    they cannot be allowed to stay

of course it helps those in control
of the mining rights and oil holes
   own the compassion tap
for the NGOs to spout some crap
of how you are a racist knave
because you refuse to behave
and object to the plan
   of evacuate and drown

but mind and never mention
   - don't send blankets just send cash -
haitian hotels of grand dimension
for on the beaches tourists splash
    while up the mountain out of sight
    another child drowns in shite
    as cholera that disease unkind
    clears a path for the clinton's mine

oh yes the despots hold compassion
as the greatest of all virtues
without it they could not be stashing
the money nicely taken
       from empaths like you

The Blue Book