Conservation, Keystone XL and Oil Trains

Published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Link below.

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Applied to the debate over the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, we’re in the violent opposition phase.

Briefly, Keystone XL would route a 36-inch pipeline 1,179 miles from tar sands deposits under the boreal forests of Alberta in Canada, diagonally across Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska to join the existing, 30-inch, 2,147-mile Keystone 1 pipeline at Steele City, Neb.

XL proponents argue that the project would create jobs, be safer than oil trains, bolster energy independence for the United States and prevent Canada from exporting crude oil to Asian markets.

Opponents of XL point out probable damage to the environment, particularly to the sand hills of Nebraska and its underlying Ogallala Aquifer, the strong probability of undetected, underground leaks and evidence that unearthing tar sands oil releases global warming methane.

If for the moment we allow that both sides speak contrasting versions of the truth, we can focus on the subject that neither brings to the debate: the need for energy conservation. Nobody is stepping back to say conservation would reverse the dominoes of demand and supply. Through conservation, XL becomes exactly what it should be: just another scrapped bad plan.

Pipelines such as XL pose threats because they are monitored thousands of miles away from a leak site and their operators are slow to respond to the disaster. In July 2010, when the Enbridge pipeline spilled 877,000 gallons of tar sands oil into Michigan’s Talmadge Creek and Kalamazoo River, the control room in Edmonton, Alberta, noted an event. But it took nearly a day for workers to find the spill.

By contrast, in July 2013, when an oil train derailed, caught fire, killed 47 people and destroyed a significant part of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, the disaster was obvious and damage control applied immediately. Tragic as it was, the event nevertheless illustrates an important safety distinction between XL and oil trains. Quick response more often than not mitigates a disaster.

Pipelines and oil trains are the devils we know. Of the two, XL is the greater evil because it would transport dilbit.

Dilbit is short for “diluted bitumen,” a cocktail of thick, Alberta tar sands crude mixed with natural gas condensate to produce a corrosive fluid that can flow through pipelines and into rail cars. When dilbit escapes from its confines, as in a train wreck or ruptured pipe, the condensate evaporates and the remaining thick crude sinks and is difficult to recover, particularly from waters such as the Kalamazoo River. However, if dilbit leaks undetected underground, it flows down to aquifers.

When oil trains wreck, the spilled dilbit or crude either burns or remains on the surface where it can more easily be recovered. The wild card is an oil train spilling into a river such as the Mississippi or the Wisconsin.

What of those XL jobs and Canadian oil to Asia? The jobs XL proponents extol are largely transient and construction-related. A flowing pipeline requires minimal labor.

Oil to Asia? Enbridge, the creator of the Kalamazoo River disaster, is moving forward with plans for parallel pipelines from Alberta to the deepwater port at Kitimat, British Columbia, where a $25 billion refinery is planned. Dilbit would flow west, natural gas concentrate back east, to be reused. XL or no, refined Canadian petroleum products will sail to Asia.

We don’t need XL or oil trains to be energy independent. For starters, we need only to drive the speed limit, turn down our thermostats and bring heavy trucks into meaningful fuel economy and emissions compliance.

Until conservation becomes the accepted truth, if forced to choose, I’d take oil trains over pipelines, simply because that’s the enemy I can keep closer.

 

Link to the essay in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/consider-conservation-over-new-pipeline-and-oil-trains-b99214213z1-248659341.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marquette, the Rancher and Dick Contino

Published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday, January 10, 2014.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/marquette-the-rancher-and-dick-contino-b99180466z1-239523371.html

 

Spend enough time around universities and the beginnings of semesters bring visitors that demand to be let in. And so, with Marquette University’s spring semester beginning on Monday, I’m opening the door for the Marquette spring I missed.

January 1960. I skipped that spring of my sophomore year at Marquette, sold my car, caught a Greyhound headed for Portland, Ore., with no plan except getting out of Milwaukee. After Minneapolis, the winter plains were interrupted in eastern Montana when my seat mate, a rancher, offered me a job.

He’d boarded in North Dakota. We talked. I needed a job. He offered one. I thought about it. The bus stopped to let him off in nowhere dark, where a car waited. I rode on to a job pumping gas at a Chevron station at Broadway and Columbia in Portland.

While winter became spring, I thought often about the rancher, but pumping gas and washing windshields in downtown Portland was easy, stultifying work and so it would be a while before I delved heavily into those might have beens.

I worked the night shift at the Chevron station because it paid more. By August, I saved enough to go back to Marquette, where I’d been accepted again. On the other hand, I coveted an MGA sports car. When you’re crazy 19, deciding between an amorphous career and a real car is not easy. Then one night, driving up Broadway to work, I saw “DICK CONTINO TONIGHT” on the marquee of a lower-tier club a couple blocks downhill from the station.

If you grew up in Milwaukee in the 1950s, you may have heard of Contino. If not: Contino was born in Fresno, Calif., in 1930, sang, played the accordion feverishly and apparently appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” a record 48 times. An accordion plus the Sullivan show equals Milwaukee impressive.

That night shift rolled on as always: The editors and pressmen from the Oregonian across the street retrieved their cars from the station’s lot, and nearby bars disgorged die-hards. By 2 a.m., quiet ensued. Enter Contino.

He drove in for gas aboard a Cadillac convertible and sat there alone, sprawled across the driver’s seat. To come close to what I saw that night, at 3 a.m., find the YouTube video of Contino, shirtless, playing “Beer Barrel Polka” and “Lady of Spain” on the accordion in Toronto in 1999. Closer still is my take on Contino after he played a sepia gig sitting in a dinged Cadillac, a tableau that gave me a glimpse into choices, consequences and time treading life.

I went back to Marquette. A few years later, I graduated, went off to fly for the Navy and a string of experiences that, on balance, I wouldn’t trade, even for a restored MGA. Nevertheless, without the epiphanies prompted by encounters with the Montana rancher and Contino, the beginning sentence of this paragraph would not, in all probability, exist.

What advice would I give Marquette undergraduates pondering spring semester 2014? The rancher is probably gone. Pumping gas for a paycheck is a semester break you cannot take. Contino is 83 and said to be in Vegas. Given those, my advice is to take no advice, unless it’s yours. If taking a semester off fits, buy it. Say “What do I have to lose?” and you just might hear from all that you have to gain.

Posted in 1950s, 1960s, entertainment news, Karl Garson, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Published, Wisconsin | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trees and the Light of the Winter Solstice

First published in the Wisconsin State Journal on Thursday, December 22, 2011.

In Wisconsin one of the wondrous realizations the winter solstice season allows is our ability to see the structure of deciduous trees. There is no better place to understand this than during a quiet walk in the winter woods. The leaves have long since joined the duff on the forest floor and the structural magnificence of ash, basswood, cherry, hickory, maple and oak are wholly on display, base to crown. To these are added the smaller contributors, those understory grace notes exemplified by hazels and the minor cherry species.

Amid all of this, the conifers retain the dark mysteries of the summer woodlands fast within the green of their foliage. During winter solstice we bring conifers into our homes and cover them with light to simultaneously encounter and counter what we cannot wholly understand. We have done this since the beginning of our time; an eclipse of the moon is caused by a giant, celestial lizard; a restive volcano is a sign that the gods are angry, into the darkest night of our northern hemisphere year we introduce any available source of light. In the beginning this habit was understandable for even the simplest things were mysterious. Today it is the equivalent of outsourcing our autonomy.

On a clear winter solstice night when you are out among the trees and shrubs and come into a clearing you will see the winter sky above you and realize that even if you have gone out by yourself you are not alone, that there is, as the poet William Wordsworth put it, “A Spirit in the woods.” If you take Wordsworth literally; believe that a spirit arises from the woods you are a pantheist; “pan” from the Greek god Pan, who was said to watch over shepherds and hunters, “theist” relating to the belief in a god or many gods. Consider also pantheism, the worship of many gods, among them my beloved Cosmic Muffin.

A tree reaches out and up from its roots for reasons other than the biological imperative relating to its need for light. A tree is also a gift to us, a lesson in first standing tranquil, strong and alone among others before opening into a crown of branches that touch and interact with those about it. We are the trunk of a tree. Our insatiable spirit of inquiry is the crown formed by its branches. This lesson is particularly evident in deciduous trees viewed in a winter woodlot. On a clear night the lesson is amplified by the planets, constellations and galaxies that wheel in perfect order above us.

Away from city light on a clear night during the span of winter solstice celebrations, the constellations Taurus and Orion dominate the sky in a westward traverse followed by Gemini and Canis Minor. The Milky Way separates those pairs with wonder enough to last a forever of winter nights and seeing it perhaps you will understand why we have the strange habit of paying for diamonds.

And always beneath the wonders of the universe, the trees of the forest’s winter night that affirm what Robert Frost wrote so famously while stopping during an evening of the winter solstice during the early 1920s, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep.”

One of the promises we should make to ourselves during winter solstice is to be honest with ourselves about what we are doing when we assign Pan to shepherds, find spirits in the woods or equate stars with diamonds. When we do those seemingly harmless things we should acknowledge that we are simply trying, each in our own way, to order the phenomena we sense but that continue to defy our sensibilities.

On a midnight clear during winter solstice season woodlots are lovely, dark and deep as  the enveloping night. To be able to stand within them–strong and alone–is to receive the best gift imaginable, the realization that each of us carries within the only light we’ll ever need.

Link to the essay in the Wisconsin State Journal:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/column/guest/karl-garson-trees-and-the-light-of-solstice/article_46946ec2-2c35-11e1-8b60-001871e3ce6c.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Peril Above Genoa

Genoa is a village on the Mississippi River in Vernon County, Wisconsin.

The following essay on the environmental risks posed by the oil trains travelling along the shoreline of the Upper Mississippi states of Wisconsin and Minnesota was published in the Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 (http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/garson23-m19lfkc-204186931.html ). It was one of three essays commemorating Earth Day 2013.

Here is a view of one of Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s oil trains (  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvreQfcv-Hw ).

The Peril Above Genoa.

Saturday marked the third anniversary of the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon and the start of 87 days during which an estimated 4.5 million barrels of crude oil polluted the Gulf of Mexico and the ecosystems, wildlife and shorelines of four Gulf states.

Though the threat from BP’s errant well has passed, a similar threat to Wisconsin’s fragile Upper Mississippi ecosystems has taken its place. The danger increases each spring and fall when the Upper Mississippi hosts migrating Canada geese, snow geese, pelicans, ducks and other water birds that depend on the river for safe passage.

The threat comes from the oil boom in the Bakken Formation, a shale oil deposit beneath portions of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. After leaving the Bakken, 100-car, mile-long Burlington Northern Santa Fe oil trains follow 276 miles of Wisconsin’s Mississippi River shoreline from Prescott to the Iowa border.

The threat is magnified by Canadian Pacific trains carrying tar sand crude oil from Western Canada that follow the western shore of the river for 119 miles before crossing into Wisconsin at La Crosse.

Above Genoa, a mile north of the lock and dam that forms a broad lake reaching to La Crosse, the river channel crosses from the Minnesota side to touch Wisconsin. There, massive tows of barges nose into the shoreline while waiting for the locks to clear and the southbound BNSF oil trains come within yards of the river while their empty, northbound twins speed back to the Bakken.

There is no better place to observe the interaction of commerce and the environment. The tows wait, trains meet at 60 mph, waterfowl and pleasure craft dot the river, the drumlin hills of Minnesota define the western horizon while limestone bluffs rise above the village of Genoa to accent the region’s natural beauty.

There is also no better place to worry about what might happen if an oil train derailed into the Mississippi.

Each car carries 26,000 gallons of crude oil, meaning one, 100-car train carries 2.6 million gallons, or 61,905 barrels. Bakken terminals are aiming at loading 10 100-car trains per day, or more than 619,000 barrels. That’s only the beginning.

La Crosse saw its first BNSF oil train in January 2010. Three years later, Progressive Railroading quoted BNSF Chairman and CEO Matt Rose saying, “We see a path to 100 million barrels per day.” That’s a mind-boggling, eco-threatening, 161 times 2013 levels. A significant part of that oil will move along Wisconsin’s Mississippi shoreline. With it, the threat to fragile Upper Mississippi ecosystems will continue to increase.

BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed an estimated 56,910 barrels of crude into the vast Gulf of Mexico every day. Today, a BNSF oil train carries nearly 5,000 barrels more than that. Its proposed 118-car trains could potentially exceed BP’s daily Gulf damage levels by more than 16,000 barrels. At 60 mph, a mile-long, 100-car BNSF oil train passes the point above Genoa in a minute.

Thus, the environmental damage to the Gulf that took BP an entire day could be exceeded above Genoa by a BNSF oil train in one minute. The likelihood of all 100 cars splitting open during a derailment is slim.

Still, the danger was foreshadowed on March 27, when a mile-long CP train derailed near Parkers Prairie, Minn. One of its cars, carrying tar-sands crude from Canada, ruptured, spilling 26,000 gallons. Two more cars leaked an additional 4,000 gallons. The derailment, said to be the first of the BNSF/CP oil train boom, was followed on April 3, when a CP derailment near White River, Ontario, resulted in another spill.

No perfectly safe way exists to transport oil. Last summer’s gasoline pipeline spill into Washington County’s Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area comes to mind here. The risk increases with the demand for oil. When we pump crude oil from the earth to meet that demand, it must be taken somewhere to be refined. But the ongoing risk to the life of Wisconsin’s Upper Mississippi ecosystems is simply not worth taking.

Karl Garson lives in Crawford County (www.karlgarson.com).

 

Posted in Clean Water, Environment, Karl Garson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Nature, Published, Wetlands, Wisconsin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Peril Above Genoa

Genoa is a village on the Mississippi River in Vernon County, Wisconsin.

The following essay on the environmental risks posed by the oil trains travelling along the shoreline of the Upper Mississippi states of Wisconsin and Minnesota was published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 (http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/garson23-m19lfkc-204186931.html ). It was one of three essays commemorating Earth Day 2013.

Here is a view of one of Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s oil trains (  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvreQfcv-Hw ).

 

The Peril Above Genoa.

Saturday marked the third anniversary of the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon and the start of 87 days during which an estimated 4.5 million barrels of crude oil polluted the Gulf of Mexico and the ecosystems, wildlife and shorelines of four Gulf states.

Though the threat from BP’s errant well has passed, a similar threat to Wisconsin’s fragile Upper Mississippi ecosystems has taken its place. The danger increases each spring and fall when the Upper Mississippi hosts migrating Canada geese, snow geese, pelicans, ducks and other water birds that depend on the river for safe passage.

The threat comes from the oil boom in the Bakken Formation, a shale oil deposit beneath portions of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. After leaving the Bakken, 100-car, mile-long Burlington Northern Santa Fe oil trains follow 276 miles of Wisconsin’s Mississippi River shoreline from Prescott to the Iowa border.

The threat is magnified by Canadian Pacific trains carrying tar sand crude oil from Western Canada that follow the western shore of the river for 119 miles before crossing into Wisconsin at La Crosse.

Above Genoa, a mile north of the lock and dam that forms a broad lake reaching to La Crosse, the river channel crosses from the Minnesota side to touch Wisconsin. There, massive tows of barges nose into the shoreline while waiting for the locks to clear and the southbound BNSF oil trains come within yards of the river while their empty, northbound twins speed back to the Bakken.

There is no better place to observe the interaction of commerce and the environment. The tows wait, trains meet at 60 mph, waterfowl and pleasure craft dot the river, the drumlin hills of Minnesota define the western horizon while limestone bluffs rise above the village of Genoa to accent the region’s natural beauty.

There is also no better place to worry about what might happen if an oil train derailed into the Mississippi.

Each car carries 26,000 gallons of crude oil, meaning one, 100-car train carries 2.6 million gallons, or 61,905 barrels. Bakken terminals are aiming at loading 10 100-car trains per day, or more than 619,000 barrels. That’s only the beginning.

La Crosse saw its first BNSF oil train in January 2010. Three years later, Progressive Railroading quoted BNSF Chairman and CEO Matt Rose saying, “We see a path to 100 million barrels per day.” That’s a mind-boggling, eco-threatening, 161 times 2013 levels. A significant part of that oil will move along Wisconsin’s Mississippi shoreline. With it, the threat to fragile Upper Mississippi ecosystems will continue to increase.

BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed an estimated 56,910 barrels of crude into the vast Gulf of Mexico every day. Today, a BNSF oil train carries nearly 5,000 barrels more than that. Its proposed 118-car trains could potentially exceed BP’s daily Gulf damage levels by more than 16,000 barrels. At 60 mph, a mile-long, 100-car BNSF oil train passes the point above Genoa in a minute.

Thus, the environmental damage to the Gulf that took BP an entire day could be exceeded above Genoa by a BNSF oil train in one minute. The likelihood of all 100 cars splitting open during a derailment is slim.

Still, the danger was foreshadowed on March 27, when a mile-long CP train derailed near Parkers Prairie, Minn. One of its cars, carrying tar-sands crude from Canada, ruptured, spilling 26,000 gallons. Two more cars leaked an additional 4,000 gallons. The derailment, said to be the first of the BNSF/CP oil train boom, was followed on April 3, when a CP derailment near White River, Ontario, resulted in another spill.

No perfectly safe way exists to transport oil. Last summer’s gasoline pipeline spill into Washington County’s Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area comes to mind here. The risk increases with the demand for oil. When we pump crude oil from the earth to meet that demand, it must be taken somewhere to be refined. But the ongoing risk to the life of Wisconsin’s Upper Mississippi ecosystems is simply not worth taking.

Karl Garson lives in Crawford County (www.karlgarson.com).

 

Posted in Clean Water, Environment, Karl Garson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Nature, Published, Wetlands, Wisconsin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisconsin’s February and the 2013 Mining Bill

To combat the symptoms of cabin fever that came packaged with this Wisconsin February I got out of the farmhouse and into the woods, an activity dating back to my childhood.

My father was its chief proponent. We then lived in Cedar Grove, in Sheboygan County, and access to nearby woodlots and the shore of Lake Michigan was close and easy and on Sundays, particularly during the dreary month of February, my father would get me and my sister out into it.

The frozen shoreline of the lake was a forbidding tableau of broken pressure ridges onto which adventure was dangerous and forbidden. But the woods were open and inviting and the opposite side of every tree offered the possibility of a new discovery.

It seemed right to be out there among the trees. And once back home, bathed in the incandescent glow of the ensuing evening, memories of trees fueled my imagination with images of animals whose tracks I’d seen printed between them.

My imagination has somehow survived more decades than I readily admit and now I’m lucky enough to have 100 acres over which I allow it to run free. Other Wisconsinites are much luckier. They and their imaginations have access to more than 2 million acres within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and state forests and parks. Milwaukee County residents also have parks encompassing nearly 15,000 acres.

With all that available space it might seem ludicrous to worry about the negative impact of a comparatively miniscule open pit mine that will almost certainly open in northwestern Wisconsin once the legislature approves a mining bill that has fluttered back like Dracula. Interesting how similar “mine” and “Mina,” the object of Dracula’s blood lust, are.

The promise of jobs seems to be the primary reason the mine proposed for Wisconsin’s Penokee Range is being considered. Those jobs–the numbers range anywhere from 700 to 3,500–are part of Governor Scott Walker’s unfulfilled 2010 promise to add 250,000 jobs by opening Wisconsin for business. The current incarnation of the mining bill, like the one the 2012 legislature closed the coffin on, seeks to streamline the mine’s application process to add those jobs. That streamlining would weaken environmental safeguards and that is the mining bill’s real reason for being. It is part of an ongoing effort to weaken Wisconsin’s traditional commitment to protect the environment.

That’s why it isn’t ludicrous to worry about an open pit mine in the Penokees. If the state legislature enacts Scott Walker’s wishes and adds the mining jobs it is also embracing his shortsightedness. To an economic order that is rapidly reestablishing itself away from a dependency on manufacturing; mining jobs are about as relevant as jobs assembling typewriters. But training Wisconsin’s workers for jobs in industries associated with tourism or renewable energy would draw beneficial businesses to Wisconsin by illustrating its forward thinking while reinforcing its commitment to the environment.

If Scott Walker was interested in making the hard choices he so frequently trots out as his forte, he’d make them with an eye on a future for Wisconsin that stretches beyond personal ambition. But he apparently lacks that capacity so his mine will come to the Penokees, its toxic runoff will pollute the surrounding area and Lake Superior and he won’t care.

After, amid future Wisconsin Februaries, I’ll be out imagining what might have been on snowshoes and a pair of hiking boots that have logged miles here in the Chequamegon as well as the Cascades and Rockies where everywhere, amid breathtaking beauty, indelible scars remain from industries that, like Scott Walker, got what they wanted then turned away from the destruction they wrought.

 

Links to my pervious essays on the proposed mine in the Penokee Range of Northwestern Wisconsin.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/column/guest/karl-garson-gogebic-taconite-their-mine-our-water/article_ff89b544-59c2-11e1-bc24-0019bb2963f4.html

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/column/guest/don-t-roll-dice-on-environment/article_1c1d047e-4396-11e1-9d76-001871e3ce6c.html

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/on-gibbsville-and-gogebic-e53rr1n-137716653.html

http://karlgarsonbadgerland.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-boy-the-mine-and-the-earth/

http://karlgarsonbadgerland.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/gogebic-taconite-and-our-wetlands/

Posted in Clean Water, Environment, Nature, Published, Wetlands, Wisconsin, Wisconsin lakes, Wisconsin rivers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Groundhog Poet, Frederick Wadleigh West

Frederick Wadleigh West, the Groundhog Poet

With Groundhog Day upon us once again it seems appropriate to offer a few words about Frederick Wadleigh West, the Groundhog Poet.

West was born on February 2, 1867 in Darien, Connecticut. His father, Walker, was a railroad switchman and something of a drifter. Young Frederick grew up under the strong influence of his mother, Maria. He was her only child. She was his only mother.

 Possessing a quick and able mind West did well in his schooling. He attended Yale, graduating there with honors in 1889.

 But West’s entire lifetime was overshadowed by a near-tragic accident that occurred when he was four. He was gathering coal along railroad tracks when his father accidentally closed a switch on young Frederick’s left foot, then watched in horror as an oncoming train passed within inches of his helpless child. The event shaped West’s life into a nightmare and his foot into something resembling a piece of pie.

 Thus scarred, West became a quiet and withdrawn child who found solace in the woodlots bordering Darien, and in writing poetry. These walks and the fact of his birth date helped peak his curiosity about he lowly groundhog (Marmot Monax), a creature he frequently encountered. A lifetime of devotion to Marmota Monax followed, culminating in West’s most ambitious poetic work, The Groundhog Sequence. Written in 1891, it appears below.

 West died in 1906, in Darien.

 The Groundhog Sequence

 By Frederick Wadleigh West

On the Morning

 Of’t maligned

as rodent crass

we look

to you

as winters pass,

anticipating

shiny snout

from dark burrow

to pop out.

 

The sun is up,

the day has beckoned.

 

It is

February Second!

 

 Salute to Marmota Monax

 Intrepid

little furry beast

we owe you

these few lines

at least.

 

Disgorged

from tunnel

‘neath the drift

to look about

for shadow’s shift,

 

O you,

coarsely pelted

lout,

may tell us

winter’s tired out,

 

or if the sky

be overcast,

that chill and snow

are sure to last.

 

 In the Home of Marmota

 A walk one day

in forest glen

takes me

near familiar den.

 

Furry Hades,

dwelling there

in dank

and smelly, hairy lair,

 

stirs to note

my footfall near,

a sign of man

a toll to fear.

 

O

would he

only know my mind,

 

that I to him

am naught but kind.

 

But mine

are two

of many boots,

 

among which

there are those

that shoots.

Posted in humor, Karl Garson, Nature, Published, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment