Tag Archives: oilmen

An Elder’s Prayer

by Thomas Davis

They frack the earth. Drills fly into the soil
And whirl through rock, a stream of chemicals
Shot down into the shale, the oracles
Of business, profit, subjugation, oil
Enraptured by technology, the coil
Inside the engine driving humankind,
The writ of progress, greed, force sealed and signed.
The oilmen say, we need the fracked-up oil.

An elder walks into the winter cold
And kneels beside a frozen lake and lifts
His arms toward dark clouds, his spirit bold
Enough to recognize creation’s gifts.

“The radiance of water, soil, and sky,”
He sang. “Is in a baby’s first-breath cry.”

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The Patriarchic Dark

by Thomas Davis
a sonnet from the Waterkeeper’s sonnet cycle

 The old man stood inside the freezing dark
And watched the Indians in their makeshift camp.
He felt his age, an ancient patriarch
Who’s seen too much of living hard to tamp
The rage he felt into a discipline
The oilmen in their fancy suits and ties
Embraced each time their spokesmen put their spin
Upon the outrage in the Indian lies
That let them dance and sing and carry on
Their protests as the winter iced men’s blood
And civilization turned into a pawn
Of waterkeepers dredged from river mud.

Our Mother Earth, he sneered, then turned away.
The Law will win, he thought, and have its say.

Note: The Waterkeeper’s Sonnet Cycle is in honor of the protestors in North Dakota who are enduring harsh winter weather while still keeping their protest going.  This is the second sonnet in the cycle published here.

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