When walking was the only way
to cross the earth by night or day,
the human scale of things was such
that nature was not hurt too much.
On horseback or by camel ride
the journeys now ranged far and wide;
though beasts were tamed and put to use
they did not always know abuse.
By bark or kayak water ways
were opened up to trade that pays.
Explorers sailed their ships to find
the rich new lands that could be mined.
Soon traffic flowed by land and sea
and trade was good when folk were free,
But some found gain in selling slaves.
So many travelled to their graves.
With engines more could be obtained,
quicker journeys, more profit gained.
Transporting coal and gas and oil,
meant deadly spills, and heaps of spoil.
Today the earth is still abused,
and people too are still misused.
Human traffic stains our soul,
And justice? An unfinished goal.
We move so far and go so fast,
but earth’s resources will not last.
To drill or mine or frack the earth
deprives the future of its worth.
So seek sustainability.
Treat all people with dignity.
Let justice flow and never cease.
Make the whole earth a place of peace.
© Terry Oakley
Written for ‘Freedom Sunday’, also known as Anti-Slavery Day, to raise awareness about human trafficking. Used in a service at Palmers Grren United Reformed Church on 16.10.2016