Pipeline Poem Worsens Word Spill

Header image by Robin Drayton

The news is full of  multiple pipeline projects as protesters try to have their say and slow moving regulatory processes grind on.

Constructing such things is a costly marathon for proponents and opposing them takes time, organization and stamina. Casual observers are sometimes at a loss to know which side should prevail.

The vast number of words generated in any major pipeline fight gush from multiple sources and flood the terrain with claims and counter-claims.

To help sort it out, I commissioned a relevant poetical work from Trail Baboon’s Poet Laureate, Schuyler Tyler Wyler, a well-known literary thief.

At first, STW refused the commission because, he said, “Nothing original can come from it” and “These pipeline battles always end the same way.”

But of course nothing original ever comes from a Schuyler Tyler Wyler poem.

After I showed him the money that could quickly be made, STW said (true to form) that he would do it if he could be allowed to dig another well known poem out of the deepest reaches of our shared language reserves, refine it to remove all the art, beauty and originality, and then ship it directly to me as quickly as possible with his own brand attached for immediate payment.

Because I was desperate and out of time to come up with a post for today, I agreed, even though I knew the result could be a horrible explosion or simply a foul, long-lasting mess.

Sorry, once again, Robert Frost.

Two pipelines converged in my neighborhood,
And sorry I could not protest both
and be one activist, long I stood
Bemoaning one as much as I could
For contents which I use, and loathe.

Then hating the other to be fair.
For though I’d use it just the same
a spill from it would sew despair,
and consequently foul the air
while no one would accept the blame.

Such strong objections did I raise
to both, that from my dual attack
each paused in the approval phase
and judges issued legal stays
while regulators walked them back.

But only for a moment, though
then did it all just recommence.
A lawyer’s herd did overthrow
my arguments, with piles of dough.
And that has made all the difference.

What have you spilled?

45 thoughts on “Pipeline Poem Worsens Word Spill”

  1. spilling too much to discuss
    the thoughts they make me shudder
    spilling is exactly what i was
    i used to spill well just because
    id have to clean or else my mudder

    spilling is a promblem still
    neatness counts ive heard them say
    i try to wait if i can until
    the sun has come to my window sill
    and i have at least started the day

    spilling is a part of life
    its gotten me in trouble some
    it cause woe and often strife
    my fan base loses oft my wife
    clean up this mess now will you mum

    here on the blog i let it flow
    the words spill out and waft along
    its often senseless this i know
    buy baboons always let it go
    and follow with a youtube song

    carson leads us with his stuff
    he starts the day for us this way
    he has some problems, poetrys tough
    the rhymes are so easy to muff
    but thats how cason starts our day

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sorry along with the other typos i got the name worong tyler leads us with his stuff and thats how tyler starts our day.
    off for an early day


  3. Hmmmm. I know I personally have “sewn despair”, and I’ve seen other seamstresses do it, but outside the shop, I thought everybody else sows despair. Shows what I know.

    I spill coffee, early and often. I really need more coffee-toned clothes.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Good morning. I’m know in my family for spilling red wine. I did this twice at family gatherings. They still let me have red wine to drink at these gathering. However, they always remind me that I have a history of spilling the stuff.

    If you want to join the group that is opposing oil pipelines you can help organize a large march bringing opponents of pipelines together on June 6th in St. Paul. You can find more information about this event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/483141378502063/

    Liked by 2 people

  5. OT – We’re in Hannibal, MO, having meandered down the Great River Road from Dubuque, to Galena and Quincy, IL. Enjoying the ride, the sights, the food, the people.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Years ago when we lived in Indiana, I made a batch of lemonade and poured it into a very old cut glass pitcher that I had just washed in hot, soapy water. The change in temperature was too much for the glass, and the pitcher cracked and the bottom fell out just as I was carrying it across the kitchen to put it in the fridge. The lemonade spilled all over the floor and even underneath the fridge. It was a real sticky mess.


    1. Those can be shattering experiences. My dad once poured a cup of coffee in a chilly cabin. When the hot coffee hit the cold porcelain mug, the mug exploded in his hand. Consequently, I have lived 60 years being skittish about pouring hot liquids. This is why I my day-to-day drinkware is made of plastic.


      1. 30 years ago someone asked me if i didnt prefer ceramic to plastic. i hadnt thought about it prior and have not been able to dismiss it since. i do prefer ceramic

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I am of mixed feelings regarding pipelines. On the one hand, pipeline spills are horrible and destructive the oil companies do a pretty poor job monitoring spills. On the other hand, we have oil tankers going through the middle of our town all day and night. and there have been some pretty spectacular tanker explosions in ND in the last year. I’m not sure what would be the best alternative.


    1. It’s not an either or proposition, Renee. It’s incumbent on us to explore alternative energy sources, this madness can’t go on indefinitely. It’s not just a matter of transporting the oil, burning all of these fossil fuels is destroying our planet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The US is now the leading natural oil producer in the whole world. This means to me that we don’t need to import ANY oil from ANY other country. But then, I don’t know what I’m talking about.


    2. I am told that the idea that pipelines will reduce the amount of oil going by rail is not true. They will continue to use the rails to carry oil after they build new pipelines if they build new pipeline. They have invested money in the oil by rail system and will keep it going. What is needed is more investment in clean energy and an end to pumping oil out of the ground. There is an especially big need to stop taking oil out by fracking as they do in N. Dakota.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. if we want to start baboon energy i have a model where the savings that wind solar and geothermal energy will offer can be paid for by the reduced bills form the gas and electric companies. i have talked about it dfr a couple of years and have interest but not the legs to make it happen. i
        i would love to be the energy guy i want to see and i think if we put together an offering where it could be paid for with the reduced energy bills who would say no?

        tetras new batteries should make solar and wind even more affordable in the near future. its an exciting time. what if sun wind water and underground thermals could be made available to us all?
        the oil spills would look different if they were unnecessary.

        lets let the oil companies cry over spilled milk


  8. There’s a spot on my chest that takes the brunt of nearly daily spills. It runs in the family. My mother has the same issue but it has become even worse with age. Many loads of laundry and spot and stain treatments result from our inability to eat like normal folk.

    OT – Our granddaughter who is, I believe, almost exactly the same age as Steve’s Liam (she turned 5 in March), stayed overnight with us on Friday. When I was putting her to bed, she said, “Bocker, will you tell me a story? I don’t mean read me a book or sing me a song, just talk a story to me.” And so I did.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I love hearing things like that, OC. I am probably prejudiced on this topic, but I passionately believe in sharing stories with kids, especially stories about family members. When my daughter and I were wrapping up our day of touring Portland with Edith, my daughter asked Liam to tell Edith about “Grampy and the weasel.” Liam instantly described an epic battle I had with a weasel, both of us determined to demonstrate ownership of a grouse I had shot earlier in the day. It was eerie for me to hear Liam accurately describe an event that happened almost twenty years before he was born. Kids love it when we read to them, but they have special ears to hear us “talk a story to them” because that is so personal.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Lucky girl. We used to sit down on Joel’s bed when the light was turned out, and tell him “a story about a boy named Joel” – review of what all he had done during that day. This of course was when he was still young enough that I KNEW what had occurred during his day…

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I spill everything everywhere — I’m just a slob and messy eater, much like my dear father. You could *always* tell where Dad ate as there was usually a swath of crumbs around his plate and in his wake. I remember being at a parents’ friend’s house who had no children, so therefore they had white carpet. Dad was eating that fancy carton cheese spread on crackers without a plate, and my mother was walking just behind him trying to put a plate under his crumbling cracker. It was endearing and hilarious.

    I bought a brand new beautiful top a while ago and wore it once (to Sherrilee’s Pi Party I think). I hand-washed it (yes, it is a delicate item) and the next time I wore it, there were stains on the front! Arrrgghh! It has that ruching/gathering at the sides, so when I do wear it, I try to “ruch” it up to cover the stains. Geez …

    Love the poem, Dale!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. nice to see you back joanne.
      i too am a stain magnet. white …. ha ha ha ha . what was i thinking.
      gray brown with a hint of rust and black is the perfect outft foe me.

      i noticed in the parking lot today. the boring world we live in has no no no color. all black gray white silver beige and if you are bold maybe a washed out blue or green. what happened to all the colors in the rainbow. its like they are all held in a drawer only to be brought out when ewe visit the bahamas or africa. our world had boring spilled all over it. buildings clothes cars. thats why art stands out and music an things of beauty. it spills out in spite of the everyday doldrums. hail to the artists . the spilling of their souls makes the world a place worth living.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This story might not work for those who don’t know the people involved. I used to work with the two brothers who became the most famous fishermen in Minnesota. The Lindner brothers were earthy, unpretentious guys. They formed a partnership with a man famous for being fastidious about his personal appearance. He held a press conference to announce the partnership. At lunch, the fishing brothers ate pizza, later using their white t-shirts as napkins. They wore the same t-shirts to the press conference, and when one of them needed to blow his nose he just used his t-shirt as a handkerchief. The partnership was not successful.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have always been a motor-control and social klutz, at which I have grown worse as I age. Like everyone above I drip on my clothing. But fm is a large issue for this. Some fm people like me lose their sense of where they are in space, what is where nearby. You may not know you have this unconscious sense, but you do. So now I run into things, trip over things. I cannot step over anything or I will hit it with my foot. If I reach over something on the counter, my hand will bump it and spill it. I have two broken toes right now from running into things, both times knocking something over in the process. I have broken a toe many times in my life.
    Today I am spilling hostility. My anti-virus did not get renewed, the genesis of which was the Target mess, making my bank number different. Then I called their resller Saturday and woman took my number and said she renewed it. She did not. Something weird seems to have happened. It is now renewed, but it all feels so shoddy that I have to go get a new bank card. BUT my local bank which was sold into a regional bank is now sold to a national bank. In two weeks I get a new bank card but the bank person i talked to said that yes I better get a new card now which will be replaced in two weeks.
    If you go to the company that sells the anti-virus, their website tells you to call a number. If you call that number and trace through to billing issues, the recording tells you to submit a ticket online. If you submit a ticket, you get an email back telling you to call that same number.


  12. I don’t know if this could be called a “spill”, but my mom left me in charge of watching the pressure cooker for when the little thing covering the pot started shaking (which indicated the time to turn the flame down). Well, I wasn’t sure if I should turn it up or down. I chose turning it up. Within moments, the whole thing blew up, shooting navy bean soup all over the kitchen. Oops.


  13. I’ve spilled pretty much everything at one time or another, but probably most often coffee. Usually this results from a.) trying to pour coffee before I’ve had my morning coffee, or b.) having had a little too much coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

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