13 ways of looking at a pipeline


Among 20 snowy mountains, 
The only moving thing
Was the crude of the pipeline. 

I was of 3 minds, 
Like a port
In which there are 3 pipelines. 

The pipeline pulsed under autumn winds. 
It was a small part of the pantomime. 

A people and a river
Are one. 
A people and a river and a pipeline
Are one. 

I do not know which to prefer, 
The beauty of predictions
Or the beauty of denials, 
The pipeline spilling
Or just after. 

Experts filled the long hearings
With barbaric greed. 
The shadow of the pipeline
Crossed them, to and fro. 
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause. 

O good chiefs of Yinka Dene, 
Why do you imagine unceded Aboriginal Title & Rights? 
Do you not see how the pipeline
Walks around the feet
Of the people about you? 

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms; 
But I know, too, 
That the pipeline is involved
In what I know. 

When the pipeline fell below the fold, 
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles. 

At the sight of pipelines
Spilling in a green land, 
Even the bawds of capital
Would cry out sharply. 

He sailed over Hecate Strait
In a glass boat. 
Once, a fear pierced him, 
In that he mistook
The shadow of his value at risk
For a pipeline. 

The river is moving. 
The pipeline must be spilling. 

It was evening all afternoon. 
It was snowing
And it was going to snow. 
The pipeline ran
Beneath the cedar-limbs.

(3 links to different contexts)