THIS IS THE NEWS/Eleanor Griplas
The line of waif like figures snakes around the camp
Like sticks they stand limply, lifelessly in virtual silence
Except for the cries and whimpers coming from small bundles
Tied to their mothers backs with brightly coloured cloth
A splash of colour in an otherwise colourless world
Where there is only wanting to live or waiting for death..
Flies scavenge and rest on cracked and dry lips
They crawl into sad and sunken eyes
No energy left to even brush them away
Just enough strength to hold out a hand when their turn comes
They live each day at a time, no plans for the future
They can only wait for life to get better as they want to stay alive
Camera footage ends, news reader pauses, and continues with a
report from a vibrant Market scene, ramadan time
Food piled in colourful mountains of red, brown, orange, green
there is excitable pushing and shoving as the believers fill their baskets
with more and more
Can't be left out, got to cover the mat with a feast of dishes
We must not be wanting or waiting for anything when the sun sets
my son comes in, doesn't like the news
Too many depressing stories he can’t relate to
Can the kids really be starving when their bellies are so bloated?
How can they leave the flies to crawl on their faces?
Mum. Can I have a new touch screen phone?
You know I have wanted one for ages and you told me I had to wait
And now to a report from our North American correspondent
Figures released today have put child obesity at a staggering new high
Percentages, figures, statistics.... Another almost equally shocking item of news
Camera pans to round faced teenagers with layered bellies
Arms and legs, swollen flesh from the excesses of a western lifestyle
"Yeah I want to get my stomach stapled and I am waiting for the operation"
News flash - another three areas designated that six lettered word, famine
More desperation, more millions of lives slipping away into starvation
Camera zooms in on an emaciated figure, a mother, her baby on her back
It stopped crying two days ago but she does not know why
sorry mama but your infant has passed to a better place
Your child is no long wanting or waiting, she has gone
We jump to another channel - Adverts bombarding us with images of plenty
Happy families sitting round a well-filled table
Steaming dishes straight from the microwave….. ready made dinners
One man’s snack is another's daily ration, please stay tuned,
An appeal follows for the victims of the famine, do not reach for the remote control
Please help those in want; we are waiting for your donations
How can life be so unequal?. And we, who really want for nothing
Yet we are not satisfied with all that we have
Got to get the latest model, new 3G with wifi, should I swap my BlackBerry for an i phone?
We are no longer used to waiting for anything, life is
Fast Internet connection, instant mashed potato, Speed dialing and dating, 24 hour living
Yet for others, their only want is to survive the next 24, but for them death is always waiting
Whether they want it or not...