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September On Jessore Road Analysis

Author: poem of Allen Ginsberg Type: poem Views: 10

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Millions of babies watching the skies

Bellies swollen, with big round eyes

On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts

Noplace to shit but sand channel ruts

Millions of fathers in rain

Millions of mothers in pain

Millions of brothers in woe

Millions of sisters nowhere to go

One Million aunts are dying for bread

One Million uncles lamenting the dead

Grandfather millions homeless and sad

Grandmother millions silently mad

Millions of daughters walk in the mud

Millions of children wash in the flood

A Million girls vomit & groan

Millions of families hopeless alone

Millions of souls nineteenseventyone

homeless on Jessore road under grey sun

A million are dead, the million who can

Walk toward Calcutta from East Pakistan

Taxi September along Jessore Road

Oxcart skeletons drag charcoal load

past watery fields thru rain flood ruts

Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof huts

Wet processions   Families walk

Stunted boys    big heads don't talk

Look bony skulls   & silent round eyes

Starving black angels in human disguise

Mother squats weeping & points to her sons

Standing thin legged    like elderly nuns

small bodied    hands to their mouths in prayer

Five months small food    since they settled there

on one floor mat   with small empty pot

Father lifts up his hands at their lot

Tears come to their mother's eye

Pain makes mother Maya cry

Two children together    in palmroof shade

Stare at me   no word is said

Rice ration, lentils   one time a week

Milk powder for warweary infants meek

No vegetable money or work for the man

Rice lasts four days    eat while they can

Then children starve    three days in a row

and vomit their next food   unless they eat slow.

On Jessore road    Mother wept at my knees

Bengali tongue    cried mister Please

Identity card    torn up on the floor

Husband still waits    at the camp office door

Baby at play I was washing the flood

Now they won't give us any more food

The pieces are here in my celluloid purse

Innocent baby play    our death curse

Two policemen surrounded     by thousands of boys

Crowded waiting    their daily bread joys

Carry big whistles    & long bamboo sticks

to whack them in line    They play hungry tricks

Breaking the line   and jumping in front

Into the circle    sneaks one skinny runt

Two brothers dance forward    on the mud stage

Teh gaurds blow their whistles    & chase them in rage

Why are these infants    massed in this place

Laughing in play    & pushing for space

Why do they wait here so cheerful   & dread

Why this is the House where they give children bread

The man in the bread door   Cries & comes out

Thousands of boys and girls    Take up his shout

Is it joy? is it prayer?    "No more bread today"

Thousands of Children  at once scream "Hooray!"

Run home to tents    where elders await

Messenger children   with bread from the state

No bread more today! & and no place to squat

Painful baby, sick shit he has got.

Malnutrition skulls thousands for months

Dysentery drains    bowels all at once

Nurse shows disease card    Enterostrep

Suspension is wanting    or else chlorostrep

Refugee camps    in hospital shacks

Newborn lay naked    on mother's thin laps

Monkeysized week old    Rheumatic babe eye

Gastoenteritis Blood Poison    thousands must die

September Jessore    Road rickshaw

50,000 souls   in one camp I saw

Rows of bamboo    huts in the flood

Open drains, & wet families waiting for food

Border trucks flooded, food cant get past,

American Angel machine   please come fast!

Where is Ambassador Bunker today?

Are his Helios machinegunning children at play?

Where are the helicopters of U.S. AID?

Smuggling dope in Bangkok's green shade.

Where is America's Air Force of Light?

Bombing North Laos all day and all night?

Where are the President's Armies of Gold?

Billionaire Navies    merciful Bold?

Bringing us medicine    food and relief?

Napalming North Viet Nam    and causing more grief?

Where are our tears?  Who weeps for the pain?

Where can these families go in the rain?

Jessore Road's children close their big eyes

Where will we sleep when Our Father dies?

Whom shall we pray to for rice and for care?

Who can bring bread to this shit flood foul'd lair?

Millions of children alone in the rain!

Millions of children weeping in pain!

Ring O ye tongues of the world for their woe

Ring out ye voices for Love we don't know

Ring out ye bells of electrical pain

Ring in the conscious of America brain

How many children are we who are lost

Whose are these daughters we see turn to ghost?

What are our souls that we have lost care?

Ring out ye musics and weep if you dare--

Cries in the mud by the thatch'd house sand drain

Sleeps in huge pipes in the wet shit-field rain

waits by the pump well, Woe to the world!

whose children still starve    in their mother's arms curled.

Is this what I did to myself in the past?

What shall I do Sunil Poet I asked?

Move on and leave them without any coins?

What should I care for the love of my loins?

What should we care for our cities and cars?

What shall we buy with our Food Stamps on Mars?

How many millions sit down in New York

& sup this night's table on bone & roast pork?

How many millions of beer cans are tossed

in Oceans of Mother? How much does She cost?

Cigar gasolines and   asphalt car dreams

Stinking the world and dimming star beams--

Finish the war in your breast    with a sigh

Come tast the tears    in your own Human eye

Pity us millions of phantoms you see

Starved in Samsara   on planet TV

How many millions of children die more

before our Good Mothers perceive the Great Lord?

How many good fathers pay tax to rebuild

Armed forces that boast    the children they've killed?

How many souls walk through Maya in pain

How many babes    in illusory pain?

How many families   hollow eyed  lost?

How many grandmothers    turning to ghost?

How many loves who never get bread?

How many Aunts with holes in their head?

How many sisters skulls on the ground?

How many grandfathers   make no more sound?

How many fathers in woe

How many sons   nowhere to go?

How many daughters    nothing to eat?

How many uncles   with swollen sick feet?

Millions of babies in pain

Millions of mothers in rain

Millions of brothers in woe

Millions of children    nowhere to go

                                        New York, November 14-16, 1971


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