The Farmax of Flemville This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 7, 2011
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I was strolling one day and saw a strange sight:
A sad old creature, seeming lost in its plight
"What's wrong?" I asked it; I felt quite concerned
I think there was something for which this thing yearned

"I am the Farmax," it mumbled, defeated
"I was supposed to protect all that we eated"
"Agribusiness, it won, don't you see this wasteland?"
"If only the Flemzins had lent me a hand"

"Listen," it said, "to this story of mine"
"I hope not to take up much of your time"
So I sat myself down on the dusty rock ground
And the poor creature's heart started to pound

"There once was a farming town called little Flemville
They had wheat fields galore and a small grain mill
They had a baker that baked muffles and truffles
And a diner that sold fresh local waffles

A greengrocer opened on Flemamain street
To make sure the Flemzins had plenty to eat
A butcher, fishmonger, and dairyman, too
All followed and flourished and had work to do

Every item they sold was pure and home-grown
The Flemzins were happy; they never did moan
But the times started changing; the pressure was on
To expand and to push and to trick and to con

Business was booming in many small villes
And some people wanted to pool all their skills
They opened a store - the biggest of all
It bought up or smothered anybody too small

"It's great!" the Flembusinnesmen cried, "Come and see!"
"With prices so low, this stuff's practically free!"
And come they did, every last Flemzin in Flemville
They wheeled around carts that took minutes to fill

"Everything in one place!" they cheered and they sang
The Flemville sales year went out with a bang
Years passed, and that store grew ginormously huge
Now selling bizmos and bins and brandy and booge

So Megamart opened in all the small villes
It sold bread made with flour from distant grain mills
Fruits grown six hundred miles away from Flemville
Could be bought at this store for just over nil

Too big to buy from the small Flemzin farmers
Megamart used industrial farm charmers
THOSE farms stretched for miles and grew just one crop
Which made disease rise and nutrients drop

To save all those plants, they sprayed chemical mist
That killed every plant and creature it kissed
Except for the crop, with new poisonous skin
Which made sick the Flemzins and all of their kin

But Megamart kept spraying and selling its stuff
And Flemzins kept buying; it was never enough
Food was trucked in from all over the Earth
Defying the seasons, not bought at its worth

I tried to stop it, I did, but in vain
I watched all this happen, unbearable pain
The land, it grew sick. The people did, too
I'm surprised you're alive and I'm talking to you

Local food sellers left and Megamart stayed
Food came across oceans from where it was made
All those emissions, they turned the rain black
Which was toxic, you see, and made the earth crack

With the nutrients gone from industrial fields
And the chemicals sprayed to increase the yields
The soil gave up, there's no more of it here
We can't grow those crops that we once had held dear

So listen, young child, please take my advice
Or else we will all keep on paying the price
Find some place that's clean, that grows its own food
And ask to live there, try not to be rude

Then when business tries to ex and import
I plead, stop them, everything of the sort
For local is our last safety food chain
It's the only way of life that we can sustain

Go on, tell my story, get out of this place!"
And then the Farmax just left, leaving no trace
I stood up, looked around, and walked on my way
And prayed that just maybe, we'll all be okay.

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