Sep 182009

The following is a poem by Susan Hawthorne, publisher of Spinifex Press that she  wrote several months ago, “about the proposed mining of Liverpool Plains in New South Wales. It is rich farming land and underneath it runs a coal seam.”

Hawthorne has been attending a conference on climate change in India while she is on a literary residency where she is writing poetry about cows and has been blogging about her trip at Susan’s Cow Blog.  As she says about why she posted this poem that doesn’t quite fit the theme of the blog, “I know, I have veered away from cows for the moment but it’s all connected. Indeed, the use of cow dung in India to keep the soil in good shape is not far off these same issues.”  Indeed. Without further ado, Susan Hawthorne’s  wonderful poem:

armour dp225

she dreams of making armour for the earth
a helmet to prevent the drillers from beginning
a breastplate so they cannot cut open her heart
greaves to stop the underground lines
breaking through to the water table

it confounds her that anyone would want
to mine Liverpool Plains
to make the earth a corpse to strip
back the muscle layer by layer
to let light in under all that rich deep earth
to groom her for profit burn coal embers
in the asthmatic air the heat increasing
to burn away everything for the emptiness
of waterdrained lungdrained flatlands

Let them eat coal not food.

 September 18, 2009  Posted by on September 18, 2009

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