Tag Archives: pipelines


We knew we were in trouble

When we couldn’t even get a room at the Heartbreak Hotel

Which wasn’t on lonely street

But we felt lonely enough in the construction dusty hive

By the second day we had jobs

Laying pipe in the sandy clay

A one-armed foreman aimed a ruby-eyed laser down the run

Impressing us with advanced technology

We laboured rough and hard

Drank the nights dry at the Peter Pond hotel

Driving back to camp drunk

I gambled on which of the three bridges swirling in view

Was the real one, and won that bet

When the crew was laid off a couple of weeks later

Nobody panicked

Just got new jobs

In our case working for a masonry outfit

Building a warehouse in the cold

The site was tarp swaddled

Propane heaters roared

Inside it was shirtsleeve warm

Outside the snow came down and ground froze up

We discovered frostbite

Slopped pails of cement up and down scaffolding

Going from furnace to frozen like a menopausal matron

One day as wet snow blanketed everything

I had to hold long lengths of metal trusses for the roof

Perched on a flimsy skyhold

While welders arced the other ends into place

Electrical charges raced across and up my arms

Each jolt a nail driven deep

On weekends we’d drive back to the farm

Remembering the dream of that vestigial commune

In the cold light of a short day

Where tires freeze flat and if you can start the car

The wheels go clunk, clunk, clunk for the first mile or so

In order to start cars on an unwired farm

We learnt the art of placing coffee tins with kerosene soaked rags

Under oilpans and setting them alight

Which left time for a second cup of instant coffee

Which I’d drink while looking out the window

Hoping to not see more orange than I wanted to

As winter deepened the summery convertible became even more of a joke

I’ve known warmer refrigerators in my time

There were snowdrifts on the floor that didn’t melt

Until we hit the Coast

After high-tailing it back home for Christmas

With a few hundred bucks in our jeans

And unaudited revenues of memories made

Whose interest is still compounding

Even today



David Trudel   ©  2013



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This rabble needs no rousing

Cold winds keep us fresh

Awake to possibilities

Alert to threats

Against the land

Against the water

Against the people

So we raise our voices

Shout our opposition

To economic interests

That disregard so much

Short-term profits

Don’t trump sustainability

Stewardship means standing up

Speaking out

Finding warrior spirit

A backbone and




David Trudel  © 2012


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Now there’s a word

Too many syllables for its intent

To say it all


Is another word of ill repute

Soft-tongued liars

Coat the bitter pill of truth

With honeyed distraction

Spin it how you will

A lie is a lie

The probability of disaster

More than a risk

The likelihood of disaster


The result of a disaster


But jobs and economic interests trump

What’s right

In the interest of the right

The force of markets half a world away

Hold sway

So pipelines sprawl across the land

Evil cankers

Corridors of destruction

Waiting to erupt

Like a sebaceous cyst

On Mother Earth

In the interest of self interest

Of a few

Trading paradise for theoretical wealth


Of the treasure of natural blessings


Of the measure of the bounty that was given


Of the blessings of the universe

Traded for market forces

Offloading natural resources

The promised land reduced

To a promissory note

And a footnote in a risk register

Waiting for the inevitable



David Trudel   ©  2012

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