Empty shelves

Last night I heard of a mother who, after work, went out to get baby food and nappies. The sheleves were litterally bare. She left , distressed at what the immediate futture held. This got me thinking about others in parts of the world impacted by our normal consumption and what their shelves may look like, if indeed they have shelves at all. I wrote this, I wish I was able to put it better, maybe into song.


Shiny white, the shelves are empty,

Worried mums and weary old,

Stare at empty freezers humming,

With nothing inside, staying cold.

All our sophisticated food chain,

Brought so low by fear and greed,

No thought for aged or for baby,

No thought for what the others need.

But before we are judgemental,

Last month were we not the same?

Our choicest foods once filled our baskets

With little care of whence it came.

Avocados from cleared jungles

With water stolen from the tribes,

Palm oil, almonds, mangos, chocolate

An industry built on ruined lives.

New jeans, their cotton draining rivers,

As for plastic, all’s been said,

Our shelves are bare but when there’s plenty

Far off babies go unfed.

So when we’ve got beyond our crisis

Hold the image of those shelves,

Let’s pick our goods so treading softly

We leave some world for other’s shelves.