Privatizing Life (a poem on water rights)

After traveling the globe and being asked to write about issues highlighting water rights and access across the globe, I wrote the poem below…


By the time you read this, 17 children worldwide will have lost their lives

Because 8 children die a minute in pursuit of potable water in order to survive

Partner that with the loss of husbands and wives

And you may end up cursing your eyes

Because you know these preventable mortalities will rise

Since water is now being privatized

Fed up with his monopoly over diamonds, gold, coltan, and coal

Man is now on a mission to monopolize Mother Nature’s soul

No longer able to swim and drink from our world’s deltas and tributaries

Fees for life-giving water will have to be paid to evade the obituaries

Structural Adjustment Programs have become the equivalent of fasting

For our world’s poorest governments must privatize water for loans everlasting

African Growth & Opportunity is being stunted by acts most tyrannic

While corporations scramble for H2O rights in a Berlin-Conference-style panic

The rights of the human and earth are no longer relevant

For the right to profit now sets the precedent

Lower water standards and a depleted water supply are soon to follow

As Mother Earth becomes the liquid-deficient Mars of tomorrow

From blood diamonds to “blood water”, history is rearing its third eye

Forewarning us of the coming strife which we can no longer deny

Civil wars will be waged in the wanton pursuit of the world’s water

Re-creating conflicts reminiscent of present-day patterns of slaughter

The developed world often acts in the most undeveloped methods

By capitalizing on the lifeline of impoverished livelihoods

From protecting corporate interests to interring corpses

The IFIs* have joined in the trade-marking of our life-giving resources

But many of us will fight this battle and that should now be apparent

For we won’t allow the blue bloodline of Mother Earth to become a patent

As man’s oil of the new millennium

The poorest of the poor dangle their lives below profit’s pendulum

Remaining inactive is an act in support of privatization and the death of man

So the blood of the 17 children that just died also lies on your hands

*IFIs – International Financial Institutions