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Verse on Paul Harrison's 'Inside The Third World'.

Acis, Polyphemus and Galatea.

Too many children are reared, that some live
to look after parents with less to give.
Cut and burned forests, and less fallow fields,
heat up more diseased swarms. These addict yields
to fertilizers and insecticides.
No shade, no moisture, no roots and earth slides.
Floods, cyclones, earth-quakes, eruptions beset
over-farmed soil, turning to desert, grows debt.
Its crops, bought-out small-holdings and tied folk.
Tractors lay off hands, too poor to poke
water tables, sunk by electric pumps.
Costly machines store wealth in bigger lumps.
The rich own state power and job placers,
cheap workless labor's starving strike-breakers.

Subsidies, for bribes in cities' favor,
push down farm prices, so landless labor
swells urban mobs, that force state about-faces.
Global firms need but few Third World bases
to swamp sweated crafts-men's local produce,
fails laws for big business, given credit use
and official aid. The system harasses
bare-foot business-men of the helpless masses,
who house themselves and bring each other perks.
With second-hand tooled self-taught skills, there lurks
resourceful re-cyclers' great potential --
but viewed a nuisance, like their shanties -- when shall
they get amenities? License denial
rates extortion, break-up and moving's trial.

Greedy wasters world-war on nature, thru
poor nations' 'leech cities', ruled by the new
elite, indulging arms and other show spends.
Social climbers defer to them. Youth trends
against parents, ashamed of their cultures.
Tourists feed servants, thieves, whores and vultures.
Reaction may stress women's low status.
Neglect of urchins breeds social traitors,
fend for themselves and against rival 'firms'.
Extended families pay school-boys worm
their way into connections. If this saves
one from poverty, exams teach to be slaves.
Meanwhile, mass hunger cripples hand and brain.
Cures for wealth's ills fail world health to sustain.

Richard Lung

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