Seven Billion Sparks

by Belinda Munoz on November 1, 2011

Breath of life,
cradled in warm skin
rocking slow
feels like home
seven billion chances to
let inner light glow.

Gasp for air,
follows souls
flung too far
seven billion points of light
burn unevenly.

Wildfire hopes
fanning spark-less smoke
not tonight.
Chance that flicker turns to flame
high like stars above.

Shadorma for dVerse Poets Pub.

According to the U.N., our world population may have surpassed the seven billion milestone yesterday. But unlike a child’s developmental milestone, this number may not be worth celebrating as it exacerbates some of the big challenges we face today. Approximately a billion (1 in 7) go hungry each day, about 3 out of 4 people in India and 1 out of 3 in China live on less than $2 a day, and too many of us sadly are not able to thrive past the early childhood years.

With over-population come many problems such as the strain on our resources, disparate distribution of wealth, food, water (already an issue in some states in the U.S.) medicine, power to name a few. Many of these problems, created by us or by those who’ve come before us, will only get worse if we don’t do something now.

And many are taking action now — many are creating scalable solutions, some of which have scientifically proven effectiveness. In countries like Malawi where 40% of the population live on less than $1 a day, farmers are gaining access to better farming tools, better irrigation system and better skills training in order to sustain their crops that feed them, bring them income and create carbon offsets vital to fighting climate change. In some countries, waste is already being processed and utilized to power household appliances that normally require electricity. A group of large cities around the world have joined together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and share best practices in the areas of transportation, waste management and urban development among others.

With our ever-growing population, we could cause ourselves distress over the worsening state of our future. Or, we could remind ourselves that we are not alone and we have one another to lean on, to count on, to work with in order to create a more just and sustainable reality.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claudia November 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

one billion go hungry..? i knew it were many…didn’t know it were that many and i wish we could grab billion chances to
let inner light glow.. thanks for another poem that makes us think belinda


2 ayala November 1, 2011 at 11:20 am

Belinda, thank you for this poem. There is so much need out there… true we need to create a just and sustainable reality for all.


3 brian miller November 1, 2011 at 11:41 am

whew these statistics are staggering…yes and the number keeps growing up as do the numbers of those without…a sad reality that only seems to be getting worse…nice write…


4 hedgewitch November 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Great shadormas–especially like the center one. And your conclusion of hope in mass as well as challenge and difficulty, is positive and affirming.


5 Gay November 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

I love shadormas – they concentrate thought to its essence, and that’s exactly what you did in your series. The article only illuminated and filled in the details. Well done.


6 Charles Elliott/Beautyseer November 2, 2011 at 9:20 pm

You have written on an important subject in a pleasing and artful way.

As to the issues you raise, I have recently given up on the two major parties in the U.S. and reregistered as a Green Party member. It is time to get serious about the Potterville Planet that is being made by our slavery to greed. It is time to pursue higher values and the greater good for all, not just 90-profits for banks and big paychecks for corporate managers.


7 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri November 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Thanks for this reminder. Geography certainly drives destiny.


8 Sara November 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Okay, I know you already think I’m a bit weird, but when I read this poem, I saw you standing on a stage with people all round, on stage and off stage, holding candles. You were reading this poem aloud, letting it spread its message through the room, mingling with the smoke from the many candles.

Have you thought about doing live poetry? Your poetry fits it so well. It deserves to be heard and not just read.


9 Shashi November 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Oh, Yes 7 billion chances… and each one different and with new light to light the path of various people they come in touch with… last heard, it was suggested that the 7th billion girl was born in India… (I am sure that there would be many other claims for the same, across the world.. ;-) )
I liked your poem.

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
At Twitter @VerseEveryDay


10 Cathy November 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

We need to find a way to sustain and improve.


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