The toilet often closed for cleaning
As morning crowd in lodge convening.
They don ski gear and quietly groan
At vacuum suckers background drone.
The hooverer, moves on through:
"Excuse me sir, I've work to do"
The cable stretched across the floor,
May trip them up as head for door.
The schedule's set to clean the place
When paying people in a race
To empty bowels before downhill
And fill with thrills the access bill.
You'd think to rid the mess before
They'd open wide the public door:
The ambient music often drowned
By vacuous serenade profound.
Expansion plans bemused the board,
For land and money, proposals soared.
Mind more for minimal needs to fill: -
Open toilets, and an open hill.
18 April, 2017
Western Star, April 19, 2017
'Potholes Ahead' - everywhere,
The signs depict our times.
The road up front is broken
Holes that goats could climb.
But is notice to the public
Of the canyons up ahead
Sufficient care of duty
To prevent the headline: Dead?
They're a hazard on the highways,
Both signs and potholes too.
Public safety not addressed,
Could the victims sue?
Common sense should prioritize
The filling of the holes
To ensure the safe arrival
Of vehicles and souls.
September 21, 2016
THE FAT CRATS
Letter in Western Star, April 14, 2016
Klepto, not bureau, is a starter to the crat,
Finagling lots of funds, morphing to Fat Cat.
Democrat! Plutocrat! Self-interest spoke,
Autocrat! Politicians of the past evoke.
Bribed with borrowed money; economy to stoke!
A scent of obscenity, strong enough to choke.
The current and the coming livyers at the bat
Will pay for the pilfer: may have to pass the hat.
April 12, 2016
CAIN'S REVENGE (ODE TO THE PPA)
In Western Star, March 21, 2016
The barren land God gave to Cain
Will next result in NL pain:
Debts and deals that no man sane,
But vanity did entertain.
In time, high prices to be bane:
Less folks to take the strain.
The mother's child will feel the pain
For power created by the rain.
It's not assured, electric gain:
The basic fact that is inane.
Delay and doubt the main refrain,
Critics treated with disdain.
Few future funds to folks sustain
Due Muskrat legerdemain.
Cain was condemned to roam in vain -
Our kids! condemned to same?
March 15, 2016
* PPA: Power Purchase Agreement - a 50-year take or pay agreement for Muskrat Falls, structured such that the repayment of construction debt is back-end loaded. The next two generations of Newfoundland and Labrador residents will pay for most of the costs.
THE CRADLE ROBBED
Letter: Western Star, March 14, 2016
It's a form of theft, that finds bereft
Our kids in future days.
The payments aimed to manage deft -
Have ended up in stasis.
Mismanaged fiascos greeted merry,
Scarce worker to know how.
Education, health, fish and ferry,
The Power and Muskrat row,
The scalpel that they cannot clean
Needs wield a wider swath;
Bureaucrats to cut from scene,
Ease the people's path.
The cradle's robbed, the money's gone -
Our children own our debt.
As nature fail: we ate the young.
With silence, we did abet.
March 09, 2016
THE WISE MAN AND THE FOOLISH MAN*
Letter: Western Star, February 10, 2016
The wise man built upon a rock, the foolish built on sand.
The bible's lesson: on sand - the structure will not stand.*
Clay, it's weaker than the sand, and, it's prone to collapse,
And yet, at Muskrat Falls, clay planned as Churchill trap.**
A natural ridge of clay to impede the Churchill flow?
A natural dam of quick clay - part collapsed decades ago!
No mention in the bible of the man that built on clay:
Such building is foolhardy, maybe doesn't need to say.
The planners! The politicos! Muskrat confidence bray,
That engineered solutions will ensure the clay to stay.
Independent engineers have questions on the build:
Expertise dismissed - their fears have not been stilled!
Dam builders ignore the parable - ancient common sense.
Their dam wisdom braying: build - spare no expense.
Willful ignorance fits the bill, perhaps they ought to pray?
And those below the dam in Mud Lake and Goose Bay
Should pray with extra fervour that lives won't wash away.
January 23, 2016
* from Matthew 7:24-27:
..... a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
.... a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
** The Muskrat Falls Project:
Will use a 1000 meter-long ridge of unstable clay (glaciomarine quick clay, commonly called pug) as a natural dam to form the Churchill reservoir and raise the water level by a height of 21 to 27 meters. There was a partial collapse of the ridge in 1978!
Our oil economy has declined,
Mortgage, meals, many a grind.
Debt levels set on fall behind.
And service for the public cline
Fiscal consultation to outline!
The budget cuts to be unkind,
To higher taxes we're destined.
Health, wellness, welfare sublimed,
Pensions padded - too many kind.
Special interest loudly whined
Festivals, fetes, for tourist find,
Sports, schools for kindikind,
Recreation centres, all combined.
Costs of projects unconfined:
Heat and light, staff assigned,
Operation budgets ill defined,
And oversight oft disinclined,
Delays, decays, all intertwined.
And mega-projects of wunderkind,
Where rationale is undermined
And management much maligned.
Objectives need be redefined
And cancelled as the facts inclined.
Porcine politicians, poorly spined
Must soon address, and all unwind.
Prancing or plowing? Non-aligned
For basic needs of humankind.
To future bleak, we be resigned.
January 28, 2016
Letter: Western Star, February 02, 2016
Just a young fogey, all faded and worn,
Waxes are waning and jacket is torn,
Knows powder horn, and feeling reborn,
Eager to ski when fresh snow in the morn.
At closing in spring the heart is forlorn,
Sky is all blue and Hill is all corn -
Loads of snow! - sleds are slope borne!
Four weeks to go till snowdrops adorn.
Tax fortune's been spent on hill and on lift,
Parents paid up for the kids fresh-air shift -
Their investment in gear - all given short shrift:
Gas snow sledders now set to be sniffed.
Hope's been denied for the dream devine
With sun and warmth in a spring ski shrine.
Wonder and ponder passholder decline:
Second-rate status again's been assigned.
March 30, 2017
Western Star, April 1, 2017
Come live in Newfoundland, where there's mighty projects grand,
Where there's scenery and culture, and undermanned!
Where the taxes will be higher, and the potholes bust your tires,
And transport costs are liable to strand.
Where store vegetables are gross, and you sometimes have to toss
And if ferry fails, no food will be at hand,
Where the government excess maintains some lifestyles blessed
It's spending! no one in command.
Where the future's soaked in hope that oil monies grow in scope
And your debt-share is certain to expand.
If your heart's in Newfoundland - shun mainland city or oil sand
To work and pay for coming wonderland.
March 25, 2017
In Western Star, April 7, 2016
Critics! you have needs be feared,
Don Dunphy's disappeared.
No clamour as to reason why
He was shot at home - did die.
Inquiries mooted and delayed,
Dunphy's story now decayed.
Outcome same as Argentine,
Time deters the truth machine.
"Truth delayed is truth denied".
Perpetrators, with time to hide,
Perhaps incompetent more apt,
Incumbents now defy the facts.
March 20, 2016
"Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" -
Disneyland's plaintive call, by the Queen for self enthral.
No fairy tale is Newfoundland, Premier Ball to bask in praise,
But bonds and debts, and interest rates that bankers sure to raise.
Fund raising dinners won't make a dent
On the amounts of money, Province spent,
No Snow White here to slay.
To fairy godmother he needs pray.
Perhaps the mirror said:
" ... mismanagement .... corruption...*," will lines upon the face embed?
" ....self-government, we are not fit for it*," Sir Bowring read.
January 02, 2015
From Report of the Amulree Royal Commission, 1933
DUCKICIDE IN DEER LAKE?
They plan to use pesticides at the sewage treatment ponds
To rid Deer Lake of what? The pests that nature spawned!
The many ducks that visit? to dabble and to dive
For solids and the algae to keep themselves alive
Will ingest and spread the poison to others far and wide
Unintended consequences of policy misguide
May lead to fewer birds for hunting in the fall
Would they use the pesticide at the local city hall?
September 16, 2015
Printed in Western Star, September 19th
WHITE BAY CATHOUSE
"Shelter constructed at White Bay dump site for feral cats." - Western Star, December 12, 2015
No mention of some feral funds
To train to feed and care
And with feline fecundity
Opportunity for growth is there:
"A cathouse at each landfill!"
New government doctrinaire?
There's others live at dumps,
And why just stop with cats?
To receive the human comforts:
Bears, crows, and gulls and rats!
Published: Western Star, December 15, 2015
March 30, 2017
Western Star, March 31, 2017