‘Southern Stories and Songs’ is a collection of fifty-two poems written during the month of Ramadan, reflecting on the various shades of poverty. The south in the title refers to the global south or the southern hemisphere, which is currently replete with poverty; the book, however, presents the south in two ways; on the one hand, it echoes the songs and stories of fatality, hopelessness, marginalisation, vulnerability and failed dreams; while on the other hand, it sings and narrate stories of hope; particularly of the galvanisation of the human family in their resilience and triumph over the adverse conditions of penury. There can be no better time that necessitates the discussion of the greatest blighter of lives in the south than now, when the millennium goals or targets of reducing poverty has catastrophically failed; at a time when all attempts of ‘making poverty history’ has proved glaringly disappointing; at a time when the global south continues to grovel in abject poverty; clearly there is a need for people to make sense of their lives and this book provides that fresh angle, which will, hopefully, teach the north a thing or two about poverty and its impact on: nature, the psyche of the poor and its implications for the sustainable future. To provide a friendlier reading experience, this collection has been divided into seven sections or clusters. Cluster one: contains eighteen narrative poems or stories based on the theme of poverty and its impact on human lives, cult ure, politics, religion and nature; cluster two: contains sonnets on the theme of penury; cluster three: contains poems that explore the biases in power and how certain conflicts can make the situation of the poor worst; cluster four: looks at the assertiveness of the poor in the face of abject poverty; cluster five: looks at the education of the soul through suffering in order to attain enlightenment; cluster six: looks at the ability of man, animals and nature to motivate others in their trying needs and, finally, cluster seven: looks at the human conditions of hunger, crime etc and its impact on the marginalised in society. If only not to pre-empt reader’s conclusions on each poem and spoil their enjoyment, a poem-by-poem summary has been provided at the back of the book, to indicate the intended breath of themes to be covered and provide a starting point for students and teachers who might want to use these poems for their poetry lessons.