Walking through the woods, I hear the trees whispering,
sharing confidences, and helping each other.
The oak tree tells the birch to use less energy,
as the mulberry needs a bit more this week.
The fungi offer their assistance in getting the food
to the right place-after all, the birds need the mulberry’s
berries, if they are to get through the cold winter.
They shed their leaves to give the bugs and
butterflies a resting place for their eggs-
safe and sound until the time is right.
The grass and thicket hide the sleeping hedgehogs,
safe from the prowling owls and foxes.
Everything seems to work in unison;
balanced and fair distribution of resources.
Yet man, top of the food chain, always takes too much,
just in case he needs it later. As for the one who
has nothing-it’s his own fault-he needs to work harder.
Who cares if his kids are hungry, not my problem,
learn to budget. What do you mean you’re tired?
The poor are so lazy, and always have their hand out.
In his warm, well furnished high end property,
he complains that giving extra money to the poor
will encourage them to expect more from life;
shoes for their children and a good winter coat,
and a full belly from a high protein diet,
instead of toasted saver bread and beans.
It’s not his fault that they were born poor,
and it’s not his responsibility to make it better.
Free school meals? Yeah right-eat less. And while
you’re at it-be grateful for the crumbs falling from my table.
The welfare state lifted millions out of poverty and poor health.
For more than seventy years, the safety net has been there-
free at point of delivery. Little by little, the rich are eroding egality.
Inequality is the name of the game-reduced life expectancy.
Cold houses, cold water, struggling to bathe sons and daughters.
We know where we’re going, don’t we? It’s started already-
in the oppressed asylum seekers-dysentery, diptheria, scabies and lice.
Next we’ll see poor children with shaved heads and gentian violet on scabs.
Untreated strep throat, kids with kidney disease and rheumatic fever
are knocking at the door. Is becoming rich worth inflicting all this misery?