' Bittersweet

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By Anita Britto, Auckland

April 19, 2012


Now I'm not a chocoholic but I'd like to let you know
That once I have that first bite, I always want some more
I tell myself I shouldn't binge and need some self-control
To fight this wicked luscious treat which has possessed my soul

Now some folks swear on chocolate and say you shouldn't fight
The urge to resist chocolate whenever it's in sight
For chocolate can seduce you with Mephistophelean charm
And apart from extra calories it can't do you much harm


The food of Gods it has been called and many would agree
That Chocolate has this magic like that apple on the tree
But if you worked in cocoa fields, a different tale you'd tell
One which pricks the conscience and thoughts you can not quell

If you join me on a journey of this little cocoa bean
You can witness first hand a lot that is unseen
Now some scenes might offend you and some of you might faint
You might recoil in horror and your chocolate it might taint

For miles away in Ivory Coast beneath the very sun
Which you and me wake up to hoping we'll have fun
Tiny blistered hands are working day and night
They've never seen a chocolate bar , all they know is fright

They're barely 8 or 10 years old but carry heavy sacks
Filled with cocoa pods and beans upon those small hunched backs
They can not tell the difference between "A" or "B" or "C"
But have to work from dawn to dusk and wield a machete

Drenched in sweat and bleeding from the whip that was lashed out
You can feel those wounds like Thomas did if you are in doubt
Pot bellied from hunger pangs all they want is bread
Apart from love and tender hugs and so much left unsaid

They've never had a childhood, they've never played with toys
They'd love to learn to read and write just like the other boys
Snatched away from Mum & Dad when they were very young
All they have is memories of lullabies Mum sung

And while I fret about their plight I must hasten to say
At times I'm just a hypocrite who looks the other way
Like that beauty pageant model whos full of empty hope
I nibble on my chocolate bar while some in darkness grope
As I satisfy my sweet tooth with this elixir of life
Another child is writhing from the stabbed wound of a knife
But we can make a difference and restore their dignity
Like Bob Gedolf and others Lets try to - You and Me.


Anita Britto Archives:

Comments on this article
Sarah Fernandes, ChennaiTuesday, April 24, 2012
Enjoyed the poem, Anita. A real eye opener too..Keep them coming.
Comment on this message     

freeda lobo, BangaloreSaturday, April 21, 2012
Fantastic Anita ! You are truely gifted, and I must say that you are making good use of your God given gift .
Your poems are so touchy and meaningful.It's as if You get your inspiration from up above !
When I eat a chocolate next time , I will surely remember to say a prayer for the poor boys who are forced to work so hard on empty stomachs.
Keep it up Anita .
Very proud to be your Aunt
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Barbara Mannas, BangaloreSaturday, April 21, 2012
I must thank your Mum for forwarding this to me. It par excellence. Home truths driven with great force. Thanks! I want to share on Facebook, but am afraid to lest I get scammed. Any suggestions?
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Joe Britto, Nakre/BangaloreFriday, April 20, 2012
Great piece Anita !

Highlights the fact of the great divide between the rich and the poor.
The gap is actually on the increase and it is true data shows the richest 2% of adults in the world own more half the world wealth and collectively the people in these countries hold almost 90% of total world wealth.

The proverb "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" often used in discussing economic inequality is absolutely true. Its most common use is as a synopsis of a socialist criticism of the free market system (Capitalism), underlining the inevitability of what Karl Marx called the Law of Increasing Poverty.
Comment on this message     

Edward Barboza, Kanajar / AucklandFriday, April 20, 2012
Hi Anita,

Nice poem and well written.

Comment on this message     

Candle, MangaloreThursday, April 19, 2012
Now I will think twice before eating the Cholate.
Comment on this message     

Ted, MangaloreThursday, April 19, 2012
We don't have to travel 9,000 Kms to Cte d'Ivoire(Ivory Coast) to see the plight of deprived children....800 Million Indians live on less than $ 2 a day, 50% of the world's poor are in India and 80% of children below the age 05 in India are malnourished...and 1 cup of Cappuccino costs $ 2 !!!!!!
Comment on this message     

Dors, MumbaiThursday, April 19, 2012
very well written and thought.
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Robert Fernandes, Udyavar / DubaiThursday, April 19, 2012
The plight of childhood deprived children who work in cocoa fields is well represented in your poem "bittersweet". Well narrated, quite lengthy though! This poem reminded me of Poet Reshma Ramesh Bangalore's most popular poem on similar theme titled "Dark Chocolate". Thanks.
Comment on this message     

R.Bhandarkar., MThursday, April 19, 2012
Awesome Dear Britto
Agree in Toto
Munch a clean Choco....but
Know its evolution from 'Cocoa'
Comment on this message     

Sweetu, MangaloreThursday, April 19, 2012
Good one. In positive way, good to know that we are responsible for their bread.
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