WE THOUGHT IT WAS OIL.
 BUT IT WAS BLOOD


           By Nnimmo Bassey, OilWatch Nigeria
 

            The other day

            We danced in the street

            Joy in our hearts

            We thought we were free

            Three young folks fell to our right

            Countless more fell to our left

            Looking up,

            Far from the crowd

            We beheld

            Red-hot guns

           

            We thought it was oil

            But it was blood

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood

           

            Heart jumping

            Into our mouths

            Floating on

            Emotion's dry wells

            We leapt in fury

            Knowing it wasn't funny

            Then we beheld

            Bright red pools

           

            We thought it was oil

            But it was blood

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood

           

            Tears don't flow

            When you are scarred

            First it was the Ogoni

            Today it is Ijaws

            Who will be slain this next day?

            We see open mouths

            But hear no screams

            Standing in a pool

            Up to our knees

           

            We thought it was oil

            But it was blood

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood

           

            Dried tear bags

            Polluted streams

            Things are real

            When found in dreams

            We see their Shells

            Behind military shields

            Evil, horrible, gallows called oilrigs

            Drilling our souls

           

            We thought it was oil

            But it was blood

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood

           

            The heavens are open

            Above our heads

            Toasted dreams in a flared

            And scrambled sky

            A million black holes

            In a burnt up sky

            Their pipes may burst

            But our dreams won't burst

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood

           

            This we tell you

            They may kill all

            But the blood will speak

            They may gain all

            But the soil will RISE

            We may die but stay alive

            Placed on the slab

            Slaughtered by the day

            We are the living

            Long sacrificed

           

            We thought it was oil

            But it was blood

           

            We thought it was oil

            But this was blood