Hunger in the War-ravaged City

Here the bloodstained sun is mocking
at the ceasefire
invalidating human existence and meaning;

hunger, burning hunger in the war-torn city
the empty bowels like the boiling sea.
Where is the water to quench?
Where are the storm clouds to cover?
They are lost in the burning hunger
like flames in the forest.

Here is the war that has created artificial hunger
in the shadow of a weeping mountain of hope;
dancing hunger racing across the ravaged buildings
roaring in tears as life is eaten away by the worms of hatred;
its blackened bellies rise up into the smoky sky;

empty plates, empty bowls, empty cans
chanting in chorus for a morsel,
scratching the blood-wetted barren soil.
War brings dry mouths, empty bowels, and sacks of gory memories.
Where is the food to be released from the burning vice?
They are lost in the murderous war
that hits them like a hot hammer blow;
as hunger pushes grief deep into the ground,
thirsty looking children longing for the dewdrop;
the dusted birds shade in the rubble watching
and the dogs accompanying stand alone
too devastated to bark.

Here is the hunger
men, women, and children wade in the dust
that once glittered with shops and boutiques,
the streets that once glowed are now scorched into dust;
among the crying children in the deserted city
hunger is a raging bull
ready to swallow everything like a wildfire!

A former academic, poet, novelist, short story writer, book reviewer, and cultural critic, K.V. Raghupathi has been writing for over four decades, with thirteen poetry collections, two short story collections, two novels, eight critical works, and over forty book reviews to his credit. Recipient of several national awards for his creativity, he lives in Tirupati, India. He can be reached at Read other articles by K.V..