Theme: Life

Safe Oil

by Miryam Nahar
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Crown came from India,
passing through Malaya.
Dollar came from Africa,
passing through Jamaica.
Together with the 1960's
our story had just begun.
The years when everyone sang.

Shipped to England,
Papa ji's face so worried,
carrying me down on his side,
Amma ji feeling ill,
afraid of what they would find
And to whom could she confide.

Corn on the cobs
left glowing in the market sun.
I've been placed in a fridge,
rats screeching and crawling!
Not much fun.

One said 'nigger!'
the other said 'wog!'.
They each said
'Go back home
to where you came from!'

Did you forget you asked me here first?
I worked in the factories
And fell in death oil,
I worked in the factories
And lost my eye in the toil.

Hey, a long time ago, so they all say
I was some jewel, some metal money
Which you brought back from India,
from Africa, and from many.
But now I'm a human without a penny.
Can't I mean more than that metal money?

Abandoned before the television that gave me the blues
Famine isn't so hard here,
And what's really due,
Whether in money, or because of God's mercy,
We won't ever get.
Here we can keep our heads,
At least that is what they said.
But do you really want to bet?

At first Crown cried,
and Dollar hit back
But then came Tree,
from Eden.
We finally got a Life.

Don't hack at me,
At my roots don't hack.
If you hack at my roots
Do you really expect to get fruit?

So you collect me some money,
You collect me some clothes,
You collect me toys
But you never come home.
Forever grateful for these gifts of your care,
But can't I mean more than the charity box
At which they all stare?

My Bible says that Jesus bought me,
From every tribe,
from every language and people and nation
He bought me.
So knock on my door,
I will let you in
And from this new kingdom of mine
Your hands with pearls I will fill.
But is this giving my pearls to the swine?

How I long to go home,
my heart's desire,
Then would so many work in death oil?

My blood could boil,
But I want some sealing, Safe Oil.

And why would anyone ever measure
My problems as too small,
And my agonies ever anyone bore,
Since your compassion, my dear Jesus,
you never measure
And your mercy never ending,
New each morning, for evermore.

So why are you so bitter
that my people gave you demons?
Why did you take them?
Perhaps you didn't have Safe Oil.

From this world, I haven't any silver,
I haven't any gold
I will give you what I have
To this I am sold.
I give you my Jesus,
Pouring out His very "Safe Oil".

04-Jan-2009

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