Tuesday Poem: No Oil

No Oil

Bad news from the north
and the queues growing longer.
Late winter, I remember,
when the shipments ceased.

There was still oil for some
which showed
where power intersected with need:
The rich.
Ministerial limousines.

The rest of us walking,
riding bikes, taking trains,
as our grandparents had:
valuing land
for what it can grow.

A Great Leap Forwards
in reverse
our faith now
in the wisdom of the old.

The world to the north
turns to poison
a battle
of each against all.

Here we cling on
in the ruins of a false economy
doing to others
being done unto
looking back with angry eyes
on a century of waste.

Tim says: I wrote this poem, which appears in my collection All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens, in 2005 or thereabouts, and it doesn’t seem any less relevant today. “No Oil” is an exaggeration, of course, but as the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico – and its predecessors in many other, less well-publicised places – make clear, oil is becoming harder and more expensive to extract.

Concerns about the peaking and subsequent decline of world oil supply were once easy to dismiss as the ravings of wild-eyes alarmists. But when Lloyds of London and senior figures within the International Energy Agency are raising those same concerns, it may be time for even a government as blithely unaware as the one New Zealand currently possesses to start taking the issue seriously.

All Blacks' Kitchen Gardens cover

You can buy All Blacks’ Kitchen Gardens online from New Zealand Books Abroad or Fishpond.

Or, even easier, you can order a copy directly from me, by sending an email to senjmito (at) gmail.com. Within New Zealand, that will cost you $15 including postage & packing. If you’re from overseas, please get in touch and I’ll let you know the total cost.

Check out the Tuesday Poem Hub Blog for all the Tuesday Poems.