Suicide of Environmentalist and Other Poems

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.


White Water

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 
for some 


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

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