MEDITATION ON A BANANA
Meditation on a Banana
I am in my supermarket
looking at a banana
that’s come all the way from China,
just like that song by Leonard Cohen.
It was picked green/
& loaded into a metal shipping container
with thousands of other bananas
and shipped over the sea and far-away.
Once in my country it is unloaded/
trucked to a distribution centre/
and trucked again to my supermarket
where they slap a sticker bearing a koala
on the banana and arrange it artfully on a shelf
painted black, so that the banana will look yellow,
instead of that sickly, greyish-green hue it assumes
when exposed to real sunlight.
I look at the banana
with something like wonder.
Somehow it was more “economical”
to ship this sad specimen half way around the globe
rather than to try and grow it here.
Does that sound right to you?
It’s not like there’s a famine on or
that I live at the South Pole
or anything like that.
Used to be you could drive out of town
twenty minutes in any direction
and there’d be a banana farm.
Of course, it takes you longer than twenty minutes
these days, to get out beyond
the seemingly relentless urban seep,
spreading like a stain across the land,
housing estates sprouting on rich, red soil
where used to grow strawberries,
paw paws, pumpkin, beans,
a rich profusion of market crops
surrounded the city, now
replaced by a concrete and gyprock rim
of dormitory suburbs.
Perplexed, I took my banana to the cash register.
The checkout girl then patiently explained to me
the economics of the banana;
“It’s globalisation, innit?” she said and popped
her chewing gum,
“Rich Fuckers grow stuff or get stuff made
in Third World countries where they don’t pay
the peasants proper, then ship it over
to fat fuckin’ First World countries like this dump,
where they can undercut local products,
then they ship their money
to any shitty, little island that’s got a bank and no taxes,
all nice and legal and above board.
It’s called Free Trade, Darrl,” she concluded
“and that’s $3.90 for the banana.”
“Three ninety for a fuckin’ banana!” I shrieked.
“Well, what do you expect, ” she yawned,
and started filing her nails,
“it came all the way from China.”
The Reverend Hellfire;
WORKS ALL NIGHT ON A DRINK O RUM
HAULING BANANA’S TILL DE MORNING COME!!