Many folks are fighting back no matter what the cost. And they will keep on going even if they think they’ve lost. And though they don’t get much support they are becoming strong. They understand their course is right. This is where they belong.
There is a place called Appalachia, painted emerald green
With misty mountains, towering trees, a peaceful, prayerful scene.
The folks who live there find it hard, but they would all agree
That there is nowhere else on Earth that they would rather be.
The world took notice of this place when they discovered coal.
And thus, began this use of land, to dig into its soul.
For owners it was pay dirt, coal as far as they could see.
For miners deep inside the earth, black lung and poverty.
The union came and tried to find solutions that were fair,
But greedy owners cut them down. They wanted every share.
One day a coal man found a plan to really fill his cup.
“No longer will we dig this land, we’ll simply blow it up.”
They cut down trees and threatened every animal and bird.
Then they destroyed the people’s homes without their being heard.
When there was opposition and they got into some quarrels
The owners usually got their way because they had no morals.
And so, they blasted mountains and they filled and poisoned rivers.
They unleashed many chemicals that really drew some shivers.
When some folks said that this made them sick, and other folks were dying,
The owners told them to be still and sabotaged their crying.
They knew they had the upper hand, and held the power too.
“If you complain about us, we will blame it all on you.”
So, what will happen to this land, I really do not know.
These mountains all began their life four billion years ago.
Folks watch their death with horror, mountains we cannot replace.
Sold off for thirty silver coins engraved with Caesar’s face.
This world that God created for all creatures great and small,
Has now become a different place where winners take it all.
But many folks are fighting back no matter what the cost.
And they will keep on going even if they think they’ve lost.
And though they don’t get much support they are becoming strong.
They understand their course is right. This is where they belong.
I hope more folks will get involved and fight this battle too.
Let’s keep this land for everyone and make their dream come true.
By Dottie Bockstiegel | August 31, 2011
Dottie Bockstiegel participated in a 2011 Trip of Perspective to Appalachia and wrote this piece while visiting Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) in Wise County, Virginia.