Poems by Carl Stilwell

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Coal Train

by Carl Stilwell

From Canary Summer 2014

Now living in Pasadena, Carl's true and long-time home was in South Pasadena, a block away from a concrete-paved river called Arroyo Seco, which was called by the Tongva, its first people, Hahamongna, "water flowing through fruitful valley."

Coal trains earthquake our home every night around one-thirty. Eighteen-wheel trucks rumble 24/7 on nearby mountain roads. We worry that the upstream impoundment will break and drown us in coal slurry.

Explosives the size of the Hiroshima bomb drop on Appalachia every week. Mountaintop removal has destroyed 500 mountains.

Coal trains earthquake our home every night around one-thirty. Eighteen-wheel trucks rumble 24/7 on nearby mountain roads. We worry that the upstream impoundment will break and drown us in coal slurry.

Explosives the size of the Hiroshima bomb drop on Appalachia every week. Mountaintop removal has destroyed 500 mountains, buried 2,000 miles of Appalachian streams beneath toxic debris. Six of my neighbors have brain tumors.

Almost one third of Americaís coal is from Appalachia. Nearly half of the nationís electricity comes from burning this fossil fuel. So coal trains earthquake our home every night around one-thirty.

Coal emissions are the largest contributor of carbon dioxide increases in the sky. Another Greenland glacier melts and falls into the sea. We worry that the upstream impoundment will break and drown us in coal slurry.

Massey Coal has 60,000 violations, but nobody in government will stop them. Is this the best way we can turn on the switch? Coal trains earthquake our home every night around one-thirty. We worry that the upstream impoundment will break, drown us in coal slurry.

Fly ash spills have contaminated our soil and our water. Six of my neighbors have brain tumors.

Almost one third of Americaís coal is from Appalachia. Nearly half of the nationís electricity comes from burning this fossil fuel. So coal trains earthquake our home every night around one-thirty.

Coal emissions are the largest contributor of carbon dioxide increases in the sky. Another Greenland glacier melts and falls into the sea. We worry that the upstream impoundment will break and drown us in coal slurry.

Massey Coal has 60,000 violations, but nobody in government will stop them. Is this the best way we can turn on the switch? Coal trains earthquake our home every night around one-thirty. We worry that the upstream impoundment will break, drown us in coal slurry.




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