Yesterday, today, tomorrow


October 4, 2016 by petrujviljoen


Old Survivor, Young Hopeful (copyright Petru J Viljoen)

“We have one precious life: do something extraordinary today, even if it’s tiny. A pebble starts the avalanche.”
― K.A. Laity

I am cold. Weary. Wary. People! The most dangerous animal on earth. Too many (of them). No regard, respect, conscience, consciousness. Misuses each other, the earth and animals – in pain, shame. Or greed as the case may be – across cultures. Disclaimer: anyone reading, taking this personally – don’t be cross with me!

Poverty. In this country, South Africa, it means black people. The vast, vast majority. Living remote, walking very many kilometres to somewhere, to somehow earn. Clawing one’s way, every day.

A dog arrives at the door. In need. In a moment of compassion it gets chucked a bone (if there is one). Mostly it gets the left-over pap* or bread and peanut butter. That what came from the people’s table as staple. So? It stays. Hoping for more … Affection. Sometimes it gets it. And the dog breeds. Like seething humanity. And the need multiplies, it multiplies. So does the greed.

Vicious judgment meted out – you’re too poor! to give Compassion. Affection. By the spiritually deprived.

dark clouds gather, threatens;

thunder and lightning unleashed –

what was, was destroyed


*Pap is an Afrikaans word, adopted by many cultures indigenous to South Africa. It is the staple food of millions, a thick porridge made from maize, or mealie meal, as we call it here.


Linked to Dverse

30 thoughts on “Yesterday, today, tomorrow

  1. bethanyk says:

    Wow this is heartbreaking

  2. It is a pity that animals are subjected to some cruel moments by those who are not deserving of having pets. Organisations are often restricted through financial constraints to offer help. It is just not fair in the animal world


  3. Mish says:

    Heart wrenching. No one should be judged by their financial abilities. It is what’s in one’s heart that matters and it saddens me that there are so many compassionate hearts that do not have the means to give as much as they want to.

  4. Bodhirose says:

    Petru, I feel your frustration so very clearly in this and I share it with you. I too have witnessed people with the means to care for their animals leave them tied up in the yard all day and basically ignore them and give them very little human affection. Why do these people want pets??!! Being poor does not mean that love, compassion and empathy isn’t in residence in their hearts.

  5. ZQ says:

    Shoot! I enjoyed your writing… now I have to scan you…

  6. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This is so thoughtful ❤️ we should extend kindness to others no matter their origin 🙂

  7. Miss Stacy says:

    i love a good thunderstorm!! 🙂

  8. In some of the poorest places I have received the most and I am not talking bout money. Measuring someones ability to have compassion has nothing to do with their material wealth but so much status in the world is attached to money.

    • Quite! My experience exactly. It’s just the poor is judged by their (in)ability to have animals sterilised or to give medicinal care when needed. Vets are far away and very, very expensive, so they do what they can. The abuse of animals isn’t restricted to the poor either! I’ve seen well-off people ignore the needs of their animals to the point it can be called cruelty.

  9. A very poignant haibun Petru and it is heart-warming that people still share what little they have with those in need. Kindness in people will thankfully always exist too.

    • I’m really sorry but I think you missed the drift of what I wanted to say.

      • When you say ‘In a moment of compassion it gets chucked a bone’ I interpret that as kindness.

        • I was thinking about your reply last night after I already switched the computer off. I was a bit hasty. I apologise. I wanted to get across the judgement meted out to people who do try to give and then get stuck with a situation they can’t control. And the organisations that work with people and their animals also don’t have any funds to try and control the proliferation of puppies.

  10. whimsygizmo says:

    I can feel the hunger in this, petru. We give and we pray, and it feels not enough. I like the pup in this…even in our own need, we often find compassion, affection.

  11. Brian says:

    There is greed and poverty everywhere. Thanks for writing this.

  12. If just compassion with people could grow as well with people as it does with dogs. You have pinpointed the snowball effect…. if we could just grow in the right way

  13. Grace says:

    Thanks for the note Petru and I just ignore the spammers. I have seen that poverty and know how meeting just the basic necessities in life is a challenge. The need multiplies, and so does greed sadly. The dark clouds gathering hints at more difficulties coming on.

  14. To mention: someone by the name of Corey Ponders at started following this blog. I followed the link and my virusguard blocked the site. Be warned.

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