An ode to the angered angler
Way up in the north where the Susquehanna grows
And the pipelines follow south where it flows
And the deer herd dwindles – especially the does
Is the land of the angered angler.
Deep in the endless mountains, they say
If you look close enough, still to this day
You can still see the footprints, the forked laurel branch
Left by the angler, who could not, would not stay.
Where was the angler – where could he be?
And why was he angry? Why did he flee?
From up in the north where the Susquehanna flows?
The old fracker still lives here.
Ask him. He knows.
You won’t see the fracker.
He’s not very big.
He hides in the crown block on top of his rig.
He lurks in that crown block, as high as a crow
And warms his brown socks while dodging the snow
Using the gas that he pilfered from way down below.
Go ask him, I tell you, go ask him today.
He’ll tell you, he will, if you’re willing to pay.
Why the angler was angered and went far away.
It all started way back, such a long, long time back …
Way back in the day when the river was clean
And the bass had no lesions, their eyesight still keen
And the trees were all dense, the critters content
That’s the day he arrived and set up his tent.
In that pristine wilderness, he started to dig
Using equipment bigger than big
And plowed through the trees,
Knocked them all flat
He could have cared less for such habitat.
Suddenly, with the sound of a cast
And a zinging brown fly that flew right on past,
The angler was there with barbed hooks galore
He walked to the rig, he knocked on the door.
And he demanded the fracker drill there no more.
“I,” said the angler, “speak for the fish
Which you seem to pollute as much as you wish
The bass are all splotchy, the snakes have no home
You ran them all over with trucks caked with chrome
And the deer have less room to graze and to roam.”
“You fool,” said the fracker, “stop griping – stop grumping.”
And on he continued with digging and dumping.
The river glazed over, the creeks slowly died
The bass couldn’t breed, their organs all fried.
The squirrels and the chipmunks, the deer and the snails
The eagles, the salamanders and a few cottontails
They all fled the land, looking for food.
While the fracker drilled there, all greedy and rude.
As the angler got angry, the fracker cashed in
Until all the gas, and his wallet, got thin.
And then, only then, did he see his mistake
As he walked past a poisoned and decaying snake
And faced the angler, who was red in the face.
“Look what I’ve done to this wonderful place!
I’ve turned it into a home of great waste!”
The angler, he left — he just disappeared
Leaving the fracker alone, stroking his beard
When he realized something both ironic and weird:
Everyone, he thought, loved the fracked gas
They used it for heating, for cooking their bass
They shelled out their money, they made him mad rich
And he drilled them more gas, all without hitch
And they all were blind to the one glaring glitch.
Everyone, that is, but that guy with the hooks
The one who gave him such not-so-nice looks
The angler was the one who tried taking a stand
Who stood for the fish, who stood for the land.
If only there were more who together would band …
The sportsmen, the anglers, the hunters, the trappers
the campers, the farmers, the trail-bound horsebackers
All of them united, all with one voice
Do you, faithful reader, plan to make the right choice?
Then join in the cause, save the Valley’s outdoors
Before our natural treasures are heard from no more!