A Fair Trade Poem

We hear much these days of the global recession, job losses, cuts and welfare reform. In the midst of our own problems and worries, we can lose sight of those even worse off than ourselves. It's good when we find ourselves doing this to remember Jesus' story of the widow's mite. If you need a reminder, here it is.

Mark 12:41-44

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

In the current climate, our charitable giving may be one of the first casualties of our new frugal ways, but there is one way that we can continue to support those people poorer than ourselves - even when we are counting the pennies.

Buy Fair Trade!

Yes, it is more expensive, but because the extra cost is spread over days, weeks and months, it is less noticeable and less painful.

Here is a poem to challenge you by Andrew Rudd. I have mentioned him before on this blog. Andrew is a Cheshire poet who, during 2006, was the fourth Cheshire Poet Laureate. 'This is a Fair Trade Poem' can be found in his book One Cloud Away from the Sky.

This is a Fair Trade Poem

This poem is made from
one hundred per cent recycled
words. It has not been tested
on animals. It has no additives
no artificial colouring.

Juanita’s poem is a sweet banana
fragrant, glowing. But the price
has fallen. ‘Dear teacher’ she says,
‘My children can no longer come
to school.’ This poem is made
from recycled words, but who
is listening?

Maria’s poem is a handful
of glinting coffee beans. She lets them
slide through her fingers. The price
has fallen. No clothes, no shoes
no medicine for the children.
This poem is made from recycled
words, but who is listening?

The supermarket poem is all noise
and colour. A price goes up
so we cross the aisle and choose
another brand, another packet.

Our lives are linked to their lives.
Their lives are linked to our lives.
This poem is made from recycled words.

Many blessings as you enjoy your Fair Trade bananas and coffee!


  1. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience  

    31 July 2010 at 14:06

    What an achingly beautiful, deeply powerful post --- and poem.

    I am listening to the recycled words.

    Excellent work here...

    Thank you!

    All's grace,
    Ann Voskamp
    Contributing Editor @ High Calling

  2. Kath Williamson  

    31 July 2010 at 22:06

    Thank you Ann - on behalf of myself and Andrew.