Poetry: You Proud Bastard

Proudly, you tore nature’s sole,

Even as the specs of brownish coal smothered the riverbed.

Lepomis macrochirus. Or Bluegill fish. They evolved.

Evolved in the Elk River. Last year, went extinct there too,

when the coal specs coated their eyes.

The bluegill was indigenous. You bastard. You are not.

When you first stamped proudly upon Mount Peters, the sycamore tree thrived.

Yes the trunks are hollow. But they know.

Know that you sliced her. Like a guillotine.

You fiend, the sycamore was our source.

All we needed was two oxygen’s of course.

The Sycamore is in the graveyard. And it will haunt you soon, when you bastards are in yours.

The older woman. My friend. She lived rurally in West Virginia.

You bastard. Reduced it to Coal Mine Area 4.

The name is Sistersville. So refer to it as that.

This woman. She lived among the Oak, Maple and of course the Sycamore.

The air was clean and she meditated to the spectacular scene.

You of course, created the obscene.

The view is what she woke up for. Now she would like to sue. So bastards, lawyer up.

Charlie, Tommy and Sammy. The kids. They played hide and seek on the cusp of Elk River.

Now Tommy has Pneumoconiosis.

Doctor Shamie said four months, that’s all there is.

I recall Tommy laughing. His small feet dipped in the River.

Bastards, you won’t take responsibility for Tommy, which I pity.

Heroes. The label you give yourselves.

Today, the last Sycamore, only remaining bluegill, the woman, Charlie and Sammy watched as you arrogantly blew up White Top Mountain.

Shredding its spirit and tearing its soul.

Dear Bastard,

I assure you, you have assassinated your soul.



By Michael Mamiye. 

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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