Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stolen Heritage

Mountains destroyed
Hills laid low
Torn open to its heart.
Heart of the mountain
Ancient root of life
Precious black coal
Ripped from the depths
Broken and crushed
Moved, trucked and taken
From the hills of home
To power plants, factories
And homes distant
From our mountains.
The rubble, discard and ruins
Thrown down
Tumbled to the valley
Crushing and filling the hollers
With no thought
Of the beauty below
Or of ancestral homes.
Much less the sacred graves
Of those who ventured
As wayfarers
In a new land.
Appalachian pilgrims,
Pioneers forgotten.
Buried alongside
The primrose, sassafras
Honeysuckle, magnolia and sourwood.
All as if they were flowers
Forgotten at the grave
Cast off and buried
In the rubble
Of questionable progress.
Cry, Oh Appalachia
Weep oh hills and hollers.
Mourn what we have lost
Gnash your teeth
That we have allowed
To buy,
To steal our heritage
For the sake
Of coal.

copyright Stephen Hollen  July 10, 2008

Moonstruck Minnows

A full moon hangs heavy over the holler
So distant from highways and urban sprawl.
It is almost butter yellow up there,
Pushed deep into a purple velvet night.
Below, it pulls at the thick mists
That wrap round the skirt of the hills
Causing them to dance an' swirl
Like a gypsy woman dancin' for her lover.
Dancin' an swirlin' so intense
That plain mountain folks remember
Stories of them gypsy woman
Stealin' babies an castin spells.
The mist causes old wives tales
To swirl an' dance in their imaginations.

The moon reflects oddly
On the polished marble surfaces
Of monuments, memorials an' slick headstones
High on a ridge up yonder,
Overlookin' a small gatherin' of cabins.
Not enough homes coveyed up together to be a town
Or even a village, just a blink in the road.
Moon reflects briefly on a pop bottle,
RC cola bottle cast aside with no thought
Of redemption.

Pregnant moon reflects an' tugs
At an ancient creek
Wanderin' unbridled, unkempt
Through the silent holler.
Its gurgle and splash seems too loud
As folks nearby sleep on.
The moon reflects almost perfect like
On the surface of the creek,
Stuttered by an occasional ripple,
Interrupted here an' again
By the flick of a minnow's tail.

Reflected only briefly on their sides,
In the flash of dozens of minnows
Flickin' to the surface,
Flippin' like crazy
Crazy from the moon.
Moonstruck Minnows.

copyright Stephen Hollen 8/18/2008

Muddy Dreary Day

Rainy day, too warm day
Not frosty, cold December Day
No fluffy snowy day
Muddy, dreary December Day
Windy, cloud pushy sort of day.
Not a winter sort of day.