The Mountain

By Teresa Dudley

Look up at the mountain

Its spires reach toward God

Reminding man to pray

Hills swathed in trees,

Green fingers pointing upward

Valleys, rushing streams, roaring waterfalls

Unchanging, lasting forever

Its beauty and power awes

Then came man, his eyes coveted the mountain

His greed bored great chasms in its side

Searching for black diamonds


His feuds covered hillsides with blood

Many innocent lives lost to his pride and greed

The war of blue and gray divided

Brother against brother, Father against son

Families ripped apart

Mothers, daughters, sisters cry

Homes burned, all is lost in hate


Still the mountain remains

Slowly the mountain changes

Trees grow taller, streams change

Trees fall, streams are filled

By man’s unwary hand

His greed blinds him to the signs

The signs of the mountain

Its pain, its warning

Still man destroys the mountain

He searches endlessly for coal

His source of wealth and death

The poor take the danger

From the mountains’ defenses

They die to be replaced

By others desperate for work

To feed their families

Obsessed with wealth and power

Owners strive for cheap mining

Cutting the workers’ wages and safety

The miners rebel, fighting for their rights

More death and pain from mans’ greed

Soon machines took their place

But it was not enough

The owners looked to make more

No matter the expense

To the mountain and its people

So they blast the mountain tops

Tearing down the spires

That pointed upward

Filling the valleys

Stopping flowing rivers

And roaring waterfalls

Filling the streams with poison

Trees that tied the land together

For hundreds of years

Fall leaving the mountain bare

With nothing stopping it,

Water rushes down flooding homes

Terrifying the people who made

The mountain their home

Seemingly indestructible, the mountain

Falls to man’s greed