Dearth of Humanity

This was my entry for the Ekphastic Review challenge inspired by this painting by Fidelio Ponce de Leon. It wasn’t chosen to be published but here it is anyway.


Dearth of humanity



There are some places in this world

Where ghosts walk daylit streets, the trackless

Famine fields and cotton fields,

Between sugar canes and potato stalks.

Human misery in shrouded white

Of rotting once-was-food now putrid blight,

Stalks the dark and comfortless night

Children’s hollow eyes the only light.

Bought and sold or simply left to rot,

Unwanted weeds in a neat suburban plot,

They haunt us still, or should if we have hearts.

The legacy of blind profit, abundant paunch

For some and padded cushioned ease until the grave,

For others bone-white lassitude and shrivelled hope,

Weary of waiting for the end,

Of dragging rattling skin from dawn to dusk.

Humanity is passion-fire not graveworm, maggot-bland,

Yet our children, grown from tender seed to budding flower,

Shrink into wind-blown dust, ground into desert sand

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “Dearth of Humanity”

  1. Oh. Sad, sad. I just watched a documentary on human trafficking. This seems an extension of that theme. Why can’t we spend the money and effort we spend on war on helping each other? It seems to be a constant human blight going back in history to its start.

      1. The difference being, what killing and bickering other animals indulge in is out of necessity, not fun, and rarely against their own kind. We are truly special in that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s