Dryland Pastures

Ode to 2017

Posted on behalf of Prof Derrick Moot

At the start of this year, thick smoke blackened the air, the Port Hills a blazing inferno
Dry grass did ignite, created the sight, helicopter bombing to suppress the dayglow
As each night descended, the flying was ended, wind took charge and re-fanned the flame
Our Californian insight, of wildfires that burn bright, councils argue about who is to blame

When we all know, such a fiery show, is a consequence of a climate that’s drier
And removal of stock, applauded by a flock, of urban folk who have no desire,
To let cattle graze, where their eyes can gaze, on tawny dry-overgrown vegetation
This created the fuel, to ignite every joule, a burning problem across our nation

From grazing dry hills, to Havelock’s watery ills, conflicts to solve in our future
Rural urban divide, did surely provide, wounds to heal that need a strong suture
Land and its use, under constant abuse, from farmer and townie both screaming
But in the end, New Zealand did trend, “changed the Government” to be left leaning

Surprising a few, Labour came through, unlike “What Happened” to Mrs Clinton
Our man of the year, to dread or to cheer, is a pensioner we all know as Winston
A media hater, consummate debater, but no substance we hear when he’s talking
He made us wait, then decided our fate, now follows Jacinda wherever she’s walking

Who said majority rules, that is only for fools, mutter National who are still in denial
No longer Top Cat, hard to swallow that rat, collectively struggling to muster a smile
Having forty six seats, still ended in defeat, Bill now prays for a three party train wreck
Stephen please find, get us out of this bind, a real fiscal hole in your budget check

At least our new leader, has shown she’s a reader, uses sentences to express her views
Not just a tweet, from which to excrete, a diatribe of lies now known as fake news
The US vernacular, has tumbled – spectacular, diplomacy not in Trump’s White House plan
Make no mistake, he is the fake, Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore are his kinda man

No fence for Mexico to see, they won’t pay their fee, but tax breaks to his corporate rich list
Promised donor Jews, he’d highlight their views, make Jerusalem their capital – who’d resist?
Don’t care if I do, offend a country, or two, Muslims are not welcome you know
Stop letting them in, our borders are too thin, travel bans a most popular way to go

And keep all your arms, Las Vegas now harms, concert goers mown down like black men
Victims of open season, on any sense of reason, because the NRA are all powerful again
As for burning coal, why that is my goal, for Pennsylvanian miners who were out of work
Climate change an illusion, from Chinese collusion, scientific evidence really does irk

As for the Russians, not worth discussions, state sponsored drugs stop Olympic selection
Putin is Donald’s mate, his only one of late, helps him get over constitutional rejection
While Merkel must wait, will she have a date? Germany’s spent five months debating
Forget Mrs May, she’s has had her day, Boris has Tory knives at her back they are waiting

At least one international crisis, hate emanated by Isis, has reduced as this year ends
A bad taste does linger, ethnic cleansed Rohingya, Mayanmar doesn’t want any friends
Nor does the lad, who took over from Dad, North Korea desperately seeks world attention
Missiles in the air, without a care, for his starving masses live under constant detention

And over the ditch, the Aussies got the stitch, when told their interments were awful
Keep your nose out, their PM did shout, our immigration policy really is lawful
Our laws are for us, passed with no fuss, when you’ve a note to say you’re an Ocker,
Dual citizens can’t govern, not in our coven, a kiwi Joyce in Parliament was a shocker

And this year has seen, the rise of soybean, fake foods the preferred choice of the millennial
Impossible Food won’t greet, a plate with real meat, nothing natural – not from an animal
Is chicken with no bird, really the correct word, to describe a concoction of synthetic proteins
Brewed in a batch, where no egg will hatch, or artificial like ‘Red Bull’ with taurine

The commodity food, chemists now extrude, on supermarket shelves for consumers to buy it
The price will obviously drop, for this mass produced slop, to be a part of an everyday diet
Our traditional food, is now considered crude, production systems described as corrupted
So will we have to look, to see a real chook, on our plates in future as our food is disrupted?

Is my job really over, no more focus on clover, to produce food people no longer need it?
Well just for now, my milk comes from a cow, and I’ll stick with the day job for a while yet
There’s still joy to behold, in a story well told, about food produced fresh from our land
Even a silver tongued charmer, a most Resilient Farmer, Doug Avery needed a hand.

So there’s plenty to do, for me and for you, keep science working to find explanations
Facts that we can uncover, are a joy to discover, true evidence not twitter titillations
In all that you do, make sure you see through, the nonsense social media does deliver
Remember to share, a Happy New Year and go swimming if you can find a clean river!

Derrick Moot

 

Interpreting the ode!

References: “What happened” by Hillary Clinton and “Resilient Farmer” by Doug Avery!
Most of the rest will be familiar to Kiwis but those of you overseas may not know we have a new Prime Minister Jacinda Arden who, for the first time is my life, is younger than me! That’s called generational change – we’ll see what else changes over the next three years!

• December 23, 2017


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