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Special N.02 – Poets speak up to Adani

Adani was a jolly old king, and a jolly old king was he

by Kit Kelen




someone is digging a hole in me

biggest ever this time! wow!

I’m paying a billion dollars for this

(lazy billion, don’t you know)


the hole they’re digging in me makes fumes

smells bad, it leaves an ugly mess

kills everything all around


oh well – that’s me for self-esteem

I’m paying a million bucks

it’s like I’m trying to make friends


you’d think there was something killing me

and doctors had to cut it out

but it’s not like that at all


the hole they’re digging is a threat to life

people will die like flies from the smoke

we know because they’re dying already

from all the other holes in me

and in everyone else


you’d think it was a money spinner

but I’m paying to get it done


it’s true they’ve dug big ones in me before

but this one is the biggest yet

in fact it’s the biggest hole in the world


why is it they’re digging this hole?

why do I pay them to?

people ask what’s wrong with me


the hole’s to make a fire

fire’s holy

it’s for a church of smoke

I believe!

I’m doing it all for old King Adani

the peasant king

great man


they’re digging the biggest hole in the world

I pay them to dig it in me


the sun must have burnt a hole in my head

this hole will be burning my pocket soon

I have to be insane


so many of me

backs into it

the wheel must roll on!


the hole must be dug

the biggest in the world!


this way I’ll burn till we’re all a lot warmer


they’re digging for what’s deep down in me

what’s that?

a billion dollars digging

my money

I’m paying for this to be done

it’s a loan

but I don’t think I’ll see the money come back

none of the banks thinks so

none of the banks will lend to the king


but look at the ships queuing up for the port

they’re taking me away to burn

my fire will light up half the world

you won’t see through the smoke


don’t you point the finger at me

I’m not doing it

it’s my job

I pay for it to be done

I’m mad?


and the sea is dark with it

nothing lives there

and the sky is smoke

my lungs and yours


we’re all going to burn so bright

no one will see through the haze

a billion dollars worth of burning

it’s nothing

it’s the cheapest solution


you don’t want to pay more

do you?


not for a great big hole

the biggest!


I can’t help saying it again

the biggest!

the biggest hole ever!

they’re digging it in me

I’m so proud


you’d think there was something

we had to bury


more fire!

more smoke!

more damage than ever before!


it’s because it’s so big

we just have to do it

if you want an omelette, breaks eggs


don’t argue

or you can stay out of the kitchen

let’s see just how high this sea can go

we’re making more ocean views?

everyone’s a winner

there’ll be more for everyone to swim


it’s the fossils who are doing the digging

we have to pay for it too


because, if they don’t dig this hole in me

they’ll dig in someone else

and that, my friends, would be very bad indeed

they’ll dig there anyway, they will

they might as well dig a hole in me


they say he’s a gangster

the big man with moustache

we’re giving the money

oh sage old king

just look at him

and see how wise


you’d be a fool not to have the hole dug

he’s offering to handle it all

only a billion!

we dig

that’s all we have to do


just give him the money

then we can dig the hole in me


they say that he’s done it before

but that can’t be true

this is one of a kind


the hole they’re digging in me

it’s the biggest one ever

lazy billion’s worth, I said


overseas, the poor, they deserve this great pit –

the dirty great hole they’re digging me


with this, they can choke to death in good light

such is the hole that they’re digging in me

they’re going to dig

you can’t stop them


how can you stand in the way of a king?


and the sea is coal

and the sky is coal

and your heart’s as dark as mine


you couldn’t vote for this sort of thing

I must really hate myself

to let them dig this hole like this


but isn’t it the gangster’s right –

to come to the end of the world

and be given my lazy billion to dig

to dig a hole in me?


we mustn’t say no to the future

there’s so much sun in Queensland

they’re digging a hole in me


I think that it’s time

to stand up and say


do you think

we’ll wake up in time?

Published: August 2022
Kit Kelen

Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a poet and painter, resident in the Myall Lakes of NSW.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.