humanitarian relief

if i’m just a walking sac
of chemicals, then there’s no
such thing as miracles
and caring isn’t caring; just synapses
flaring—so tell me, why should i care?
movies end happily, but i can’t
for the life of me understand—if
God is dead,
what’s the hurry? why
all this cumbersome
there’s no
referent and nothing
is definite; so do as you
please; forget poverty,
education, disease.
please tell me why—why
i should care;
pack my bags and go
over there; pay
plane, bus and taxi
fare? so what
if children don’t
eat and people can’t
walk down
the street withoutrape,
AIDS, pregnancy to meet?
i get the green thing. i have to
livein this space
with all the rest
of this evolving
race but there’s no Telos
so Darwin tells us—so
why should i care?
‘cause apparently,
we ain’t goin’ nowhere.
so i decided i don’t care. but
i can’t. i mean, just listen
to this rant. there’s care there.
care’s there from the start,
presupposing Science and Art;
care recessed, repressed
in my blood-rent heart.
things aren’t the way
they’re supposed to be,
and the Story of Biology is not
sufficient—they say we’re here
on accident but i need more.
i need more in order
to account for this life
as we live it. look around
and see people
caring, friend and neighbor
sharing—poverty, injustice
there’s care there.
people don’t love wholly
right, even when striving
with all our light: we
withhold, we withdraw, we
fight; we harbor anger, we
brandish pride; we’ve all of us
murdered and lied; selfishly
denied truth, justice, mercy.
and yet
there’s Care there.
Care echoes
in our tomes, re-
to our breath
our bones
our Original
all along, in our heart.
(c) Renea McKenzie, 2014
The line breaks have been reworked since this poem’s original publishing at (which for some reason is still published under wrong title; the title was never “humanitarian aid”). At any rate, the new line breaks (I hope) add layers of meaning and emphasis.
(More articles at

Photo by isafmedia

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Avatar
  4. Avatar