My brothers and sisters, when even the rocks cry out in pain,
it is time to add our parched voices, and yes, everything is illusion
but the love that lifted us from dust gives natural respect
to the mother who carried us and supplies without our asking
all that we drink, all that we eat, all that we breathe;
her steady patient heartbeat is our natural rhythm;
her water ripples and flows, feeds the sweet grass and trees.
We are warmed on the beaches of her vast lakes
and we are the salt sea surging and ebbing to her tides,
forever rocked and reassured, forever offered endless bounty.

Shunning sunlit glades and the honeyed breezes of deep forest
gigantic mining treads smash and rend all that stands,
plowing ever deeper ripping aside the layers of shale
sniffing for the last bit of dark blood while all around
stretches a vast wasteland laid to the bone and oozing,
hundreds of square miles as barren as the lands of Mordor.

Now the furnaces are lit, water heated, shale shaken to sand.
Light crude and natural gas are added, the thick slurry is ready
to be pumped thousands of miles to refineries on the Gulf Coast
through fragile tubes of steel already leaking throughout the land
everywhere and now we are plunging beneath Lake Oahe,
fresh water source for the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux tribe
377,000 square acres of deep unspoiled water tossed on the table
as the necessary price of progress, so say the white men in Bismark
who pushed this disaster far from their doors, naturally following
historical precedent, and now that it is almost invisible
don’t look back the Missouri River is next but do not worry
you will be escorted safely away by military police
before you are exposed to any unsightly sights that might
develop should terrorists attempt to savage their plans
or the earth rise and fall in a normal trembling shrug
no nothing can possibly go wrong for the next three quarters
at least, and that is all that is needed to justify all this,
a special few with shrewd intent now free to feed uninhibited.

©John Greenleaf-Maple 3/11/17

One thought on “Tar Sands Extraction Method

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