It’s Not That I Don’t See…

Somewhere, searchers are combing through rubble
to find signs of life, or remains, while I fret over the
size of my belly, bloated by excess, filled by gluttony.

Somewhere, a mother pleas for the return of her child,
a daughter stolen, held by authority, while another cries
because her toddler’s coiffed appearance fails to win.

Somewhere, their village destroyed by war, families
flee to find peace, encounter rejection, and worse,
while a son murders his sister to honour family pride.

Somewhere, parents wait with terror-seized hearts
as a gun-wielding lunatic holds their children hostage,
while businessman fatten their wallets over arms sales.

Perspective tells me that I am unjustified to complain
over my first world problems, am selfish to bemoan
the trivialities of my self-centered existence, that I just

need to shift my viewpoint, look outside myself, and see
that inequalities and hardships beg for my compassion,
alter my focus and become a beacon for the world; and,

yet, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy that floods my
large screen TV, desensitized by the staged and unstaged
images of brutality, tired of the unsubstantiated claims

of terrorism, and the political garnering for votes; cannot
bear to hear of one more gun attack in a country where
the right to bear arms is confused with personal security;

feel out of control when I listen to stories of great loss,
am compelled to shut off the media, turn my attention to
self-criticism, and find a manageable issue close to home.

(Tonight is Open Link Night at dVerse.  I am also linking this up with One Woman’s Quest II weekly challenge: attention.  “It’s Not That I Don’t See” first appeared September 2016.)

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52 comments

  1. This is powerful. How often do we all sit feeling the overwhelmed, helpless and guilty at the bombardment of tragedies and unjustness in this world…and yet the solutions seem so clear and yet so out of reach…?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wouldn’t have thought this was written 2 years ago until I got to the end. Whoa. Are we all just treading water… This is an emotional, intense piece of writing – perspective can slip away if we aren’t careful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “look outside myself “- that is a powerful thing to accomplish VJ. its something that those in power need to do more. I like the contrasts of trivial matters against the important things in life. I listened to more of Naomi Nye videos, she talks about being overwhelmed by tragedy but actively doing something about it, your poem echoes that so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many stories and events all happening at once now. If we read too much violence and hate, it can desentisized us, true. When the news are depressing, I turn it off and read something else, more positive and uplifting. Hope you have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are too many terrible situations in the world these days and we as individuals can only do so much, V.J. But then, it has always been so, they just weren’t covered in the media to such an extent. When I was a child, I could name the disasters in the news because they were closer to home; now they are often in parts of the world I wouldn’t haven’t have heard of back then. The constant stream of news on TV and on-line makes me more frustrated, angrier and sadder than I have ever been. It is up to those in power, with money and resources, to do what they can, but those people are usually the greediest and the least concerned, with the hardest of hearts. All so well conveyed in your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Boy, you speak to my heart and mind on this. I, too, suffer depression, confusion and anger at what I see in the world. This morning I listened to the Yazidi woman who won the Nobel Prize and I just collapsed. Yesterday, a woman from Sierra Club called me about making a contribution to spotted owls, or something, and all I could think of was the plight of women and children around the world. earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, erupting volcanoes,etc….on top of the senseless violence done to humanity and nature. We do what we can, but we must choice wisely. It is never ending, isn’t it? Your poem says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We all get tired of the hypocrisy, can’t figure out where our heads should be. I go back and forth all the time. I want to hide out or I want to cry out. I want to care or not at all. Sometimes there is solace in silence, the question isn’t where do I find it, but how do I keep it? Some think my faith is an escape or crutch, whereas my faith is a challenge every minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The pain.. the sorrow.. uncontrolable grief and horrors of violence surround us all via media and newspapers… sigh.. sometimes it becomes a tad bit too overwhelming 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think that if we each found something manageable and also saw the good things that happens… but when did you last see a headline “infant mortality down by 20%”. I think sometimes the news numbs us with all the horrors instead of breaking it down to good things we can actually do

    Liked by 1 person

  10. To take it all in, to feel it fully without turning away, to honor yourself and who they are, you are speaking out and you are not alone. Small actions matter, each action changes, listen to your heart and your hands will find a way to help others.

    Liked by 1 person

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