"Did I mention I'm a geologist?" --often told lie by Ryan Zinke* Who doesn't look at the mountain and wonder, What could that be put to use for? Who doesn't look where the ancestors are buried, and wonder what their time would be like stuffed full of chemicals?. Who doesn't look at the mountain and think, How can I break that down for its minerals? Why wouldn't the spirits in the water, rocks, and trees, not want to be free of their bonds and their children? Who doesn't look at the mountain and ponder, Where did all this natural resource come from? Is the spirit energy trapped in the rocks not happy in its home? Who says, Granite, Shale, Gold, Ore, Uranium, and thinks themselves as liberator or hero? Who doesn't look at the mountain and ask, Could I own this mountain or sell it? All the spirits and ancestors are thinking About the government word, relocation, And how much more the heart can break.
J. P. Dancing Bear (Featured Poet, October, 2017) is co-editor for the Verse Daily and Dream Horse Press. He is the author of fourteen collections of poetry, most recently, Cephalopodic (Glass Lyre Press, 2015), and Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014). His work has appeared or will shortly in American Literary Review, Crazyhorse, the DIAGRAM and elsewhere.
Painting by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.
*Editor’s Note: According to Wikipedia, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has a B.S. (couldn’t resist) in Geology but has never worked in the field.