Poem:The Hungry Face

” This poem was written to highlight the plight of children, far removed from education and comforts of home and confined to dreaded routines of existence” –

The Daughter of Pakistan, in search for bread and water…….the quest continues and so her questions….

As she rests her soul against the pole
The blistered feet and in tattered clothes
The only place, where she can breathe
The open fields and the crowded streets
In search for bread and water
Attacks in its fury, the heat
Attacks in its fury, the old dust
The answers to her questions,
The mind that carries all the pain
The face that shows all the drain
The young eyes drowned in its fury
The dreams that have melted,
Begins to tremble, her mind and soul
The tasks of survival, the daily routines

Remains in shape, the old nightmare
The old echoes from our land
The children on the street
The children out in the open
Young hands as they extend out,
For a loaf of bread, and water
Far in the distance, our future,
The aspirations of our youth,
Of all those things we see
In the distance and of nations
Here in this place, emptiness prevail
The great power we have derived
We have all what we need
The great army and tools of destruction
We have all what we need
The great leaders and empty promise
We have all but nothing
For children of our times,
We have all but nothing,
For children, their health and education
As strange stories unfold in the distance
As these hands extend out for help
Remain we seated, in our comforts
The old problems of our time,
Do not go away, they only increase

As this daughter of our land,
Remains in quest for pieces of bread
In her hands, she should carry
The books and the days of innocence
Reside she should in comforts of a home
Not the dreaded dream of existence
Where only she carries pain, of being alone
As our future walks out in the fields,
In those crowded streets and bazaars
As the hunger strikes its cruel verdict
Still time for us to realise,
To deposit, all our energy
Those old avenues of intellect and effort
To change, ourselves and our approach

Ignorant we are, ignorant we have become
From all this education and wisdom,
We claim to achieve, we claims to have sought
Of what we are, and of what we can do
Of no good it is to these children,
Of all our intellect and promise,
We do not see, what is right and wrong
We only complain, we only flutter,
We have no action, we have no promise
As they die in their hunger and search
In the old avenues of our grandiose dreams

The hungry face and her remains
The old dreams as she traverses those streets
Books in her hands and comfort of home
The future, she belongs to and deserves
Still time for us, to rectify,
The problems of our time and indifference
The hungry face remains in quest………
For bread and water, the basic requirements
Born I was free, as death begins to creep
In confinement, we question and remember
The old dreams and faces no longer there,
Lost in fury of time, lost in its hunger
We comfort ourselves, how great we are
We comfort ourselves, how great we were
As the conscience strikes its verdict
Still remains the old face, of beauty and hunger
Alone in her quest, alone in her existence!



Filed under Children, Education, Labour, Pakistan, poetry, poverty, psychology, Rights

5 responses to “Poem:The Hungry Face

  1. Tilsim

    Poignant words.

    Poverty is increasing in Pakistan against the trend of Asia as a whole. There is nothing to say but to hang our heads in shame.

    Our failures allow the poor to become foot soldiers of extremists. We have abandoned the poor collectively as a nation. We use zakat, sadaqah to assuage our conscience but we do not reflect on how to eliminate poverty.

  2. douglass

    to Tilsim

    What “we” are you referring to? If poor have too many children and become more destitute, if religion (god and his supposed voices) prevents family planning, if poor refuse to be honest about their own misery and its self-made causes – who are these “we”? Religions (and their concocted sentimentality) have become instruments in the hands of the poor to blame the rich.

  3. Tilsim

    @ Douglas

    You blame the poor collectively and assume a level playing field. The poor are not always blameless in their misery but I am talking about rich people’s lack of responsibility towards the poor in the context of humanity. This callousness is particularly in display in this part of the world.

  4. Bint e Mahmood

    Thank you. The poem describes the plight of our children so well. Such a sad sad situation.

  5. Farukh Sarwar

    An excellent depiction of poor and hungry people striving for survival in these hard times.