Welcome to JP Melville's review, experience, and statement on foreign aid and the international development industry. A conservative faith in family. A love affair riding the riotous tensions between money, personal freedom, the majestic travesty of our specie's ecological footprint, and economic politics. Selected writing of both prose and poetry, anecdotal travel log to rhetorical essay, dating back from the 1980's to the present. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Tamil Nadu - my final post for this blog

My heart wanders through incomparable contrasts,
my image of my international world
as seen from the windows of a moving vehicle,
a charity organization’s four wheel drive truck,
and my image of the world when on foot among rice paddy or in forest,
Confusing me.

Why the delirium in the head of a rational man
Bent on eradicating poverty,
Where humanity can be reduced
To the ideology of strategic plans,
Objectives, Actions, Goals,
Project success in typed reports,
Faith manifest in the idolatry of statistics?

In a vehicle  I am infected with an urgency,
Travelling between those villages the truck takes me to and from
To be compassionate, to understand, to know
And to wipe problems away with solutions.

On foot inspecting the rice variety sown in the paddy,
Looking up to calculate the yield of firewood in the trees,
I lose sight of graphs, policies, and analyses;
I hear the wind and become lightheaded.

Because I can see the people on the dry lands of Tamil Nadu,
one thousand years from now,
as they were before,
as they may always have been:
there are different trees,
though maybe more than now,
always rice,
and different homes,
but simple as they are now;
in essence all remains the same
in that wasteland my world could never find use for.

Do I hear a woman weep from loss?
And I see a man bend painfully under the weight of a load of stones.
Then, scintillating in the arid breeze,
I hear children's laughter,
I see them play,
and if I listen carefully, yes,
I hear women, too, in laughter at a well, gossipping,
and men mumbling in hushed, low tones,
sitting together beneath a tree while their buffalo graze.

Because my income depends on projects,
travelling to where the donors pay,
I have only once been to Tamil Nadu;
With God’s grace
when one day all this madness of my world is done,
I will be again in one thousand years.

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