The Roughneck’s Labors


He remembered the years of oil:
running pipe and chain, clasp and spin
across ice-bound derrick slicks;
hooked galleons of stained oblivion,
great lengths of steel heaved
out of a dark pit of silted earth;
men who wore grease like a badge,
suffered sleepless nights, rhythmically
pushing or pulling the hole, seeking
under the dead sea-bed below a sign –
the pitch and blend, salty exuberance;
long soaked, sweat tanged bodies;
up and down, slipping mud, sipping
salted taps of ancient oceans;
waiting for the call, a merciless flood:
rising, expanding, blowing the roof-
stench jacket to kingdom-come
and back till the primed loafer crawls
the jet-lined tube to extreme fire;
those jetted plumes, plants and dinosaurs,
resurrections pyre – fluid to flame:
out of their invisible lairs, carbon junkies
reading the tapes, moment accosting,
tampering against the cold and deeds
of steeled awareness, pain resolvers,
prided interlopers of the hell-bound heart.
Such men as these dug deep down clean,
brought forth good earth riches, black gold;
blend and mold, rigged accomplices
quick to fight, yet lovers all; whiskey
men flotilla bound, gifted with sublime
disgust only an explosion calms:
pop the cork, blast the cap; spew and gush
old glory till she shines all night, flamed and tapped.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Note: Many may or may not know I grew up on Odessa in West Texas during the heyday of the Oil boom era of the 50’s. I worked alongside my Great-Grandpa, Grandpa, Uncles, cousins, etc. for years in the various aspects of the oil business. Knew it first hand. Men who worked hard and played hard. A forgotten era… yet, the same kind of men that worked the derricks then still do it around the world. To these working men I dedicate this one.

Greece: The Hard Truth of Political and Economic Austerity


Even if hope merely rises above the horizon, whereas only knowledge of the Real shifts it in solid fashion by means of practice, it is still hope alone which allows us to gain the inspiring and consoling understanding of the world to which it leads.
– Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope

Looks like Yanis Varoufaki, finance minister for Greece has resigned to placate European negotiators. New York Times has a in depth coverage on it.  Tsipras seems in a tough spot now having to negotiate between hard liners on both side along with the EU conclave.

Wandering back through some of the history I realized that the anti-austerity movement has had little traction in opposing the hard line policies of Germany and other EU member nations. Watching what’s happening in Greece I wonder where the protests are, and why people across the EU haven’t spoken to this? I see they protested against closure of banks last week in Greece, but I haven’t seen anything from searches on Google and elsewhere. But even if there was a massive protest I doubt it would change policy. It hasn’t so far, sadly.

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