The Speaker raises his shaking hand
And no-one speaks in that dusty band
His throat a desert moaning makes
To tell the news they all must face.
‘The water’s gone,’ the old man said
And all the others just shook their heads
‘The water’s gone, and we must go
Ever east, into tomorow.
‘We must travel with all haste
And not a tear shall we waste
If you falter, if you drop
We will go on, we will not stop.’
For quite some time the sun had shone
On naked farms and mines long gone
The wind blew hot, the rain never fell
The aquifer shrank, nothing to sell.
Fifty people quiet and dry
Even baby does not cry
Fifty bodies in a line
Marching to the morning shine.
One hundred days of sitting tight
One hundred times they moved at night
And more weary did they grow
And more few, and more slow.
Well baby died and many more
Could not follow the Speaker’s law
Ever the desert lay all around
No living creek, no animal sound.
Still the Speaker looked to the east
For a sign of rain, or at least
Some green which had not died
When business boomed and the country dried.
Towards the light they ever marched
Through ancient lands newly parched
‘We saw it coming,’ the Speaker said
‘But did nothing, now it’s dead.’
Finally they hit the sea
As far east as they could be
Neither water nor human being
Had they seen or did look like seeing.
There among the ruin of economy
Mixed the sands of the desert and the sands of the sea
Now in front lay the ocean –
They must stop their eastward motion.
‘The end has come, here is the sea,’
The speaker spoke to his company
‘Behind is rock; ahead lies salt…
But our journey cannot halt.’
Into the ocean strode the Speaker
Crying, ‘Oh, Free Market, you grim reaper!’
And all humanity followed too
And disappeared into the blue.