The mountain people

They do not live here are out of this world

You see them pictured as you sit quietly in your own cave

To you they just might be from another planet

They are the Other don’t fit with your ecosystem

While your brethren dress in dapper clothes sip lemonade

Have lunch at Macca’s watch Modern Family

Blast aliens through computer screens and

Read Stephen King when they feel like it

Sadly for you they are more prevalent than you’d tolerate

They confront you like static that refuses to budge

You behold those images from a world that

Seem light years away

They come from all corners India Colombia Makoko Manila

All the same from their ragged clothes to their crestfallen faces

Those faces the countenance that begs you to act

The resilient charity mugger you pass by

Wants a share of your ill-gotten wealth

The same annoying fly that you brush away

Saying you’ve got a runny tummy

Never mind that a deserving child skips a meal or wilts under the sun


After the mad dash to work Jeez where does this end

Your workplace has kindly allowed an extortionist to enter the building

Gold coin donation shouts the racketeer

Any funds are welcome to help save the dying children

Most of them are moved; they have a heart

You begrudgingly give four bucks, and no more

It was like school all over again

Pretentious College ran a donation drive for one whole month

By the end of it all you felt sick rather than guilty

So there was work, monotonous but necessary to pay off the mortgage

Send the kids to private school and repay the Jet Ski  

After day’s hard yakka following chaos fighting through Sydney traffic

You’re home beer in hand turn on the TV guess what’s there?

Who else but the mountain people you flick through channels

Hoping to flee from the mountainous assault

It’s Chernobyl! An environmental hazard! A catastrophe!

There is no end in sight, as the canopy keeps hitting your face


You don’t want this to continue, but what chance have you got?

The words go tumbling on you like some inescapable tsunami

The mountains of rubbish another pack of teens killed too young to die

The Mountains! They caved in, falling onto

The scavengers like a sack of potatoes

Manila: boys die while rummaging for food scraps hit by

An avalanche of rubbish you see the humbling conditions

But at the same time just as the camera cuts to a scene

Where the hoi polio digs up thrash right beside their underfed dogs

You tire of this poverty porn so you switch channels

Where boy you were wrong as the BBC has haunting images of Makoko

You’d have laughed at the Lagos slum if you weren’t feeling so annoyed

It showed a thriving Venice of Africa, only way more crowded

And much less affluent indeed the pictures were so dramatic

You were so glad your kids would never study at a floating school

Beside all that refuse you saw enough then watched the footy

Makoko, Nigeria: ‘the Venice of Africa’

‘This must be what it must feel like to walk in full sunlight’

To go out with no inhibitions to LIVE

Sadly though our lives are oceans apart

Remember that celebrity what she said about them?

How are you any different from her, living the life, basking in your sunlight?

When will we ever learn? This is no job for the next generation

It starts now! It starts within

You have no choice if they can’t accept what’s happening in Syria

If they continue to malign the Other

Or persecute the traditional owners of the land

Or get swamped by whomever

You must take a step you with your power your job your worth

DO something for a change

Believe me you’ll sleep tighter


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