Poem Hunter
Check If You Are Blind
PKJ (September 25,1940 / Mavelikara in Kerala State of India)

Check If You Are Blind

You claim that you have beautiful eyes
Eyes that display charming smiles
Eyes that read fine prints many reams
Eyes setting the other sex in dreams
Eyes of which all poets will praise
Eyes for which all gods will craze.

Despite these you seem to be blind
For, you don’t see the life of fellowmen around.

While seeing The Rich’s maddening glitters
Are you seeing the plight of the people in the gutters?
Do you see the hungry, the sick and the unclad
Living in misery in the shacks in your backyard
And the roofless thousands living on the footpath,
Deprived of food, water and bare supply of cloth,
With no access to many a basic human need,
Whose bodies are grounds for lice and germs to breed?

Do you see children picking food crumbs from garbage,
And the elders picking rags and junk for a living in their old age,
The unlettered, uninformed and half-fed in the village
Who, for feeding you, day and night doing hard tillage,
Isolated, weak and those in many ways deprived,
The uncared for, old and those physically disabled,
And unenlightened poor living always under fear
For, to stand up and get their rights they don’t dare?

Are you able to see the meek whose backs the musclemen use
To ride on, bear load, revel and amuse,
The helpless week watching their daughters being abused
With no support to raise hand, resist and defend,
Unfortunate women selling their chastity for food
And contracting AIDS and other diseases you dread,
And the like fellow beings who are suffering without revolt
In your own neighborhood, for none of their fault?

Are you able to see the tears gushing from their eyes
And perceive their pain with your own inner eyes?
If not, my dear great friend, you are, no doubt, blind.
Check at once and ensure that your vision is made splendid.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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