Archive for September, 2011

The Recession: A Poem

The Recession: A Poem

by Denis Kabi


The recession was the worst

that the country had experienced in its history.

Every citizen was distressed

by the worsening economic situation.

The prices of basic food items had risen

to amounts that put them out of the reach

of the majority of the citizens.

The price of fuel was steadily rising,

and it seemed that people would soon be forced to walk

to their destinations

or use bicycles

or use animal-drawn carts to travel,

since only the wealthy could afford to fuel their cars.

People living in the countryside

could at least practice subsistence farming

and feed themselves and their families from the produce.

But people living in the city didn’t have adequate land

to establish farms,

and therefore needed lots of money

to buy everything they needed.

But money was increasingly becoming scarce.

The citizens became desperate.

Crime levels soared

and the frequency of violent crime increased,

and gradually the nature of the violent crimes

began to venture into sadism.

Criminals were not only contented

with robbing their victims of their valuables,

but they burnt their houses and cars

and took time to torture and rape

and humiliate their victims.

Government officials were as dumfounded by the economic crisis

as the rest of the citizens,

and all that they could do was make speeches

denying that there was a crisis in the country.

No one seemed to know what to do.

As the economic crisis deteriorated,

the citizens became more desperate,

and their desperation turned into apathy.

The living standards of the citizens became so bad

that a visitor to the country would mistake it

for a pre-colonial settlement.

There was no running water in the pipes of most households,

for the water supply company had gone under.

There was no electricity supply in most households,

since the companies that generated and supplied electricity

had gone under as well.

The government went bankrupt

and could not pay the salaries of the civil servants

– the police, the military, the teachers, the doctors,

the foreign embassy staff, and other workers.

Nothing was working the way it was supposed to work.

What to do?

Whenever I hold back the rain

or send locusts to eat up the crops

or send an epidemic on my people,

 if they pray to Me and repent

and turn away from the evil they have been doing,

then I will hear them in heaven,

forgive their sins,

 and make their land prosperous again.


© Denis Kabi, 2011


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