by the Hillbilly Poet, Waltr Lane
Suicide of an Environmentalist
The Poet’s friend Larry was the star of an M.T.R. documentary.
At the premier the police were there to protect the pickets from dangerous environmentalists.
None saw Larry beat up in the parking lot by angry strip miners.
One morning, a hit –n-run driver sideswiped the walking poet.
When the poet decided to live, he limped home to lie on his couch. 2 hrs. later the police investigator arrived to lecture the poet for leaving the scene of an accident.
The poet’s wife is concerned about him committing involuntary suicide.
The collection agent, with an elastic conscience, taught her, taught them a hit-n-run victim is responsible for his own medical expenses.
Fire in the Hole
I ponder on small thoughts
how they trouble big people.
I am a spectator in the game of life.
I saw black train loads of money
leaving behind naked mtns.
as they headed for new york banks.
I realized we have a coterie of hirelings
driving trucks hauling our heritage to a
power plant on the ohio river
Till all the
mtns. are gone North.
I remember the coal operator
who protested the strip mine.
Covering his sub division.
Property values in dust.
He took his carpet bag
and went South to Florida.
Chemicals cause bad water in Charleston
but chlorine masks the taste in
Hillbilly drinking water.
Fire in the stomach for green rednecks.
I am as lonely as a musician
in a tone deaf family,
like a piano player at a cockfight
with memories of the time
when polio left children’s smiles dead
or with at least a limp.
Now the city drinking water
made from the sewage of the city
upriver from Mt. Dream
turns the drinking fountain chalky.
My boss says it makes her
wash-clothes really white.
I wonder what it does to
our innards if
we don’t drink bottled
I have no city water:
the well has been dry.
What I wouldn’t give
Waltr Lane is a former miner, social commentator, and poet who currently lives within mailing distance of Racoon, KY. His work is featured in Written in Blood: Courage and Corruption in the Appalachian War of Extraction.