They are tearing up an old man's farm land

He laid out using landmarks, thoughts and patterns

His father's father gave to him in passing

Altered just to meet the needs of each new year

In spirit and in purpose still unchanged

To live and let live free out on the rolling plain

An idea stark and strong and timeless

As the mountains

Whose east face shadows, waters, shields his land.

They are chewing up the old man's valley

Deeply driving scars into the glacial till

Furrows pushing far past soil fit for seeding

Knife wounds carved to lay aside the fertile earth

To alter for all time the ancient course

Enslave and redirect the native flow

A human wish as stark and strong and foreign

As the sleek new earthen mountain

Whose west face bars the water, floods the land.

They are damming up the Oldman river

Last of its kind out on the western plain

Wild and pulsating with the vernal meltdown

Languid and at peace through autumn rain

The spirit of the stream symphonic with the people

Whose generations lived with the river's ebb and flow

A hope as clean and pure and shocking

As the icy mountain stream

Whose rushing water parches thirst, clears the brain.

We are giving up the old man spirit

Surrendering the free flow of our lives, our loves, our thoughts

To the calculated, engineered and well planned schemes

Of the master builders of the human race

Who know so well when it is better for us

To yield our common wisdom, values, truth

And flow within the trace of their ideas

Dark and strong and binding

As those artificial mountains

Whose bulk creates such pressure, danger and control.

Excuse those who dam this last wild valley

But damn all those who would dam each last free life.

 © Philip Knight 2018