Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Black Gold; or the Sea of Tears

By Raphaelle O'Neil

My heart, an open wound once flooded, and since recovered,
Bleeds again, and now is covered in Black Gold.
Not the black and gold that brought us the victory
That signaled our new place in this city’s history,
But the Black Gold whose poison bleeds as the world watches
A new nightmare, slowly, but surely, unfold.

Something wicked this way comes,
Leaving a trail of tar baby birds in its wake,
As it gushes, seeping endlessly into the sea.
Not even our sea of tears can jerk us awake,
Nor help us unmake this mistake.

As the tides bring us closer to this unfurling disaster,
The winds carry with them a toxic scent that whispers,
And begs us to remember,
The shrill promise of “Drill, baby, drill!”

But, no, all is not well.
For even while I can still make believe that it is,
This endless well from hell, spills, and spills.
Black Gold has only begun washing up on our shores,
On our beds, on our schools,
Washing away with it the dreams that used to fill
Our bellies and our hearts,
While what was once our dearly beloved way of life,
Turns, yet again, into strife.

Yes, some of us can still pretend, but till when?
As horror draws near, how are we to defend
That which is most dear? As lies try to reduce our fears,
It becomes clear (unlike our waters),
Things won’t be the same again, at least not for years.

Meanwhile, the men who tried cutting corners,
All in the name of saving time and some dollars,
Are now trying to save their own collars.
The Black Gold is theirs, as well as the shame,
Yet still they try to keep their good name,
By dispersing and hiding the evidence,
And pointing fingers, displacing the blame.

How exactly are we supposed to take comfort
When asked to trust those who unleashed this mess,
To tell the truth, for once, and do what’s best
Letting them lead in the effort to recover?
Time and time again has shown, when left to their own, They only protect their self interest!

So, waiting for this sad story and toll to be fully told,
We hold our breath,
As worthless Black Gold approaches,
And encroaches its tenacious fingers into our harbors,
And engulfs our Gulf, and that of our neighbors.

O, would that our sea of tears be enough to replace this sea of death!


  1. a very timely poem, this disaster is truly terrible, good to see this poem here

  2. Thank you... 3 years later, the disaster is far from over.