Poppy Fields .










In the heart of Indo-China where the mighty Mekong flows
Lived a peasant with extended family ten,
There he made a modest living where the opium poppy grows
And his children were all women and no men.

Then one day an air crop duster flew above his poppy field
And it sprayed the crop with poison ‘till it died,
So the peasant watched in horror knowing family fate was sealed
While the women stood around the hut and cried.

Now the peasant couldn’t understand the harm those poppies made
In the far flung major cities of the world,
So he didn’t see the logic of that air crop duster raid
But a glimpse of future poverty unfurled.

There wasn’t compensation from the ones who ruined his crop
Family money and the grain supply ran out
Then the peasant paid a visit to a money lender shop
He would care for family needs without a doubt.

So the money lender tightened his control from day to day
Then the time came when decisions must be made,
He must sell his eldest daughter to the lender come what may
And the lender sold to others in the trade.

So this helpless girl was forced into the evil white slave trade
Over many years she paid her Father’s debt,
Then her owners threw her out now sick, their evil fortune made,
From her body there was nothing more to get.

They returned her to her Father on the poison ravaged land
She was married to a relative close by,
And they wonder why the sickness now affects their family band
For there’s none can work no matter how they’ve tried.

So another daughter made her way to rescue family dear,
And another hopeless cycle then began,
But the leaders of the nations turned their backs for it was clear
That the poppies were to blame and thus the ban!

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2011, all rights reserved”

NB. I’ve walked through the poppy fields of the Northern Laos area of the Golden Triangle. The rural population is unaware of destructive forces let loose as a result of export of poppy derivatives. All they want to do is to earn enough to feed their families. Our world leaders should realize this and make it possible for them to grow crops which will provide a livelihood instead of poppy production. It’s middle men and terrorists who make profits from this evil crop, not the poor rural folk.

4 thoughts on “Poppy Fields .

  1. Ian,

    This a sad tale but true. Governments aren’t stupid, they know what is happening – they choose to turn their collective heads away from such misery caused by them.
    Unfortunately there is not much we can do about this but have people like you write these stories and send them on to be sent on again.
    Maybe one day that girl will not be sold…….


    1. Thanks Susan. I guess the problem is that politicians are interested in satisfying their constituents wants so they can stay in power. When those who elect politicians can develop a world view and an empathy for those in other lands whose cultures we don’t understand the politicians will act. Not because they as politicians have that empathy, but because they are anxious to respond so they can continue to stay in power. But I wonder if we as electors can make that transition? As one of my college professors once remarked, people are more concerned about the boil on their arm than they are about the starvation and death of those in the world who they are not close to.


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