Baxter Black

The big boy land developers hired them a worn-out hack

To go and buy the water rights off farmers down the track.

“Just pay ’em anything they ask. Heck, any price on earth.

Those farmers haven’t got a clue of what it’s really worth.”

“Them’s fightin’ words,” the farmer said. “This water ain’t for sale.

It’s all that keeps this place alive. Without it crops would fail.”

The lawyer sorta laughed it off. “We’ll get it anyway.

The cities need it all to grow. You can’t stand in their way.

It’s progress, you should know by now you can’t hold back the flood.”

“There’s lifetimes given to this land. The water’s in their blood.”

“Old man, that’s ancient history, besides we’ll make you rich.

Just name yer price, you’ll have it. It’s nothin’ but a ditch.”

“Yer hollow as your vacant eyes. Yer empty as yer word.

You can’t see past the dollar signs. These things that you’ve inferred

Are bigger than yer lawyer’s fee, yer Judas 10 percent.

You’ve no respect for anything, you covet just the rent.

Go back to your rich puppeteers who’ve never broke a sweat,

Who ride in when the battle’s done and use their bayonet

To finish off the wounded brave and pick their pockets clean

Then sell their spoils to innocents to keep their cities green.

Explain to them the difference between value and price.

That value isn’t what is paid, it’s what is sacrificed

That gives it worth. It’s measured in the turns around a field,

In families and community, in broken bonds and healed,

In barns burnt down and harvest lost and kids gone off to war.

Explain to them it’s measured in grooves worn in your soul ... or,

In depths of neighbors’ breaking hearts when someone’s lost a wife,

And that you can’t just set a price on someone’s way of life.

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