Baby, It’s Cold Out There


July 13, 2020 by petrujviljoen

It’s South Africa. It’s winter, a particularly cold one (for South Africa). It’s a very small town, ravaged by Covid-19. Hunger prevails. A 1000 had to be fed by less than a handful. The chat group was ablaze last night. Where are the food parcels?

Tempers soared … and soured. A leader, in charge, peeved. Believe it!

Yes but, and then that, but you … but where did the food parcels go then? The rich and well off sit and sip liquor in the sun, arranging themselves for after (Covid). They gathered in God’s name. So where are the food parcels!

But if you did and if they didn’t … and then they put up the electricity charges. And still no-one says about the missing food parcels. Those who still could now can’t cook any longer unless they make a fire in the yard. A household of ten to eat from one granny’s social grant. One fire, one teacup worth of food, once a day. A small child has been crying non-stop for two days. It’s God’s Will. No food parcels. Be patient ‘they’ say.

Calling out, just, just short of being called names (on the chat group). Fingers pointing, pointed back, yes but you … whatever … where are the goddamn food parcels!!

the heat of the moment

passed – I draw the blankets up

to my chin


Linked to Frank J Tassone’s weekly Haikai challenge.



55 thoughts on “Baby, It’s Cold Out There

  1. K E Garland says:

    Literally and figuratively…all over the world, this happens.

  2. msjadeli says:

    Food is stolen to fill the bellies of the rich while children starve and cry. Haunting and unconscionable.

  3. Jules says:

    We’ve had some more spiking here in our area and surrounding states and still some people don’t believe there is anything wrong. The Amish here think this whole pandemic is English propaganda (English being anyone who isn’t Amish).

    You and all the voices that follow have shared so much. I can only hope along with everyone else that all leaders are held accountable for their choices. In some states the homeless are more or less encouraged to steal. The police won’t do anything if the ‘thief’ takes under a certain amount of goods. That isn’t anyway to encourage independence. Shop owners can’t even tell these people to get out of their stores. I don’t understand where all the money goes in the taxes that are collected. Surely a good portion of it should go to feed and care for those who cannot do so for themselves. But then most countries don’t take very good care of their war vets either.

  4. ladynyo says:

    Petru….I sent you an email but I don’t know if you got it. Please, if you did, talk to me. Love, Jane

  5. ladynyo says:

    Oh my God, Petru. I forgot the world turns upside down. Terrible summer here, 100 plus temps….and you freezing there. And the food parcels???? People starving, the Covid 19 virus, the hunger and cold. This is so haunting, dear Petru. I am not a religious person, but I am praying for your countries relief. The US has topped the world in cases of virus. many died and more to come, but I think South Africa really will be nailed. Blessings to you, dear friend. I wish I could send food. Love, Jane

  6. ShiraDest says:


  7. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #1 (7/14/20): Petru J. Viljoen’s latest #haibun for my current #haikai challenge!

  8. memadtwo says:

    This is so riveting and true. They have helped homeowners here but done next to nothing for renters… and our government is against helping anyone but the rich anyway. When I saw where the stimulus loans went…big corporations…fancy private schools…Jeff Koons…seriously, he got millions of dollars to help him “survive”, when a few thousand dollars would have been like manna from heaven for most real artists. A pox on them all.
    I’m still using the old editor too. I complained to one of their chat people but they were no help at all. I suspect they will “forget” and let it be, I hope so anyway. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (K)

  9. Blootvoetpieter says:

    One can hardly feed ONE person on that, then there’s rent, electricity, taxi fare. Then we tell people they should be eating fresh blue berries to be healthy. All the can afford is poisonous white foods. White never is the colour of food. Less so the mieliepap brought here from Mexico.

  10. Misky says:

    I despair at the world lately. When will all this turn right again …

    • It’s terrible Misky. I don’t think it will come right. Once lockdown is over people will return to their ways like before Covid and a chance at reform will be missed.

      • Misky says:

        A recent survey here shows that 68% of people don’t want to return to pre-Covid ways. Certainly in our little town people have looked after one another. Perhaps it’s because people who live on our street have lived here for many decades. At one time our children played in the street. Now our grandchildren play in these same streets.

      • ShiraDest says:

        I hope that if we persevere in bearing witness and calling for the needed changes, the chance at reform may not be missed. We must continue to try.

        • I’ll try and cheer up.

        • ShiraDest says:

          That’s not what I said/suggested, dude. I said we must persevere. Persist in trying. Not all the same as ‘cheer up’ or put on your happy face. It means keep going even though there may seem to be no hope because god damn us all if we give up: my enslaved ancestors did not sacrifice, struggle and survive just so that I could give up on this fight to make life better for us all. Keep Plugging Away (-Paul Lawrence Dunbar), DamnIt!

        • ”god damn us all if we give up …” Yes, that’s true. Thanks! Needed this. 🙂

        • ShiraDest says:

          Yup: damn my stupid little brain: I can’t edit my earlier comment! meant to say “not at all what I said…” not “not all …” urgh! Ok, got to get out and keep pushing the cart… Take Care, my friend. Be Safe. Air Hugs if wanted from California, Shira Dest.

        • Air hugs from California is very much needed. Same back from wintry South Africa. From this often god-forsaken town I live in.

        • ShiraDest says:

          Sending you many Safe Air Hugs, then!! My landlady will appreciate the wintry air as your hugs arrive here!! 🙂 Sending you some warm thoughts, and Courage for All of us. #KeepAPlugginAway

      • ladynyo says:

        I don’t think it ever will return to normal, Petru. I think we have to think outside of the box. we are not starving here, but we do eat from our garden…tomatoes, cukes, bell peppers, cabbage, celery and herbs. We have stopped any buying of meats except canned meats and that is rarely used. I think our entire world will suffer continueously and we need to think outside the box. It distur bs me hat people here, and this is also poor people think that food with be supplied forever and they don’t store, garden or do anything to feed themselves except gather and search for the free food offered by many fresturants, , f I rood banks. They depend upon the government and will be surprised and starve when all this ‘assistance’ is cut off. I remember the struggle to get people to at least attempt to plant, be sufficient, etc. during Y2K. They laughed at me. Now? They suffer, mostly because they think that manna from Heaven will continue. Ugh. it won’t

    • Blootvoetpieter says:

      Been living this reality for decades. In 2019, had my own lockdown of 183 days. Been at the ill mercy of society for long. Disability is adventurous.

  11. If you’ve written more, post it.

  12. And people in the rich west whinge off about what a hard time they’re having, limiting of personal freedom, the right to be a stupid arse etc etc. And the holidays they have had to put off, the things they haven’t been able to buy. You put it in perspective with no holds barred.

  13. It’s in http language. Is there a ‘visual’ option still?

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