It is now eight years since the UN Environment Report revealed the state of ecological devastation in Ogoni.
It is five years since the citizens of Ogoni won their case brought against Shell in a London court, where the corporation agreed that they would spend £55 million remediating the oil spills around the village of Bodo.
And yet it seems nothing has really happened1
Perhaps it should come as no surprise
that Lazarus grows turmeric on his farm
in Bodo. Given his namesake in the Bible
was brought back to life, how apt
that Lazarus should speak of rebirth,
bringing Ogoni soil back from the dead.
Turmeric grows, defiant to neighbouring
lands, fallow and bereft, but for oil welts
slick with stagnancy, nothing destined
to survive still. But for Lazarus, a harvest
of golden root, gnarled resilience, living.
Turmeric, a blessing that soothes
and heals, despite its bitter taste.