A mountain preacher said it first,
“Steve, you know what we like about you?”
What’s that, Homer? – a sudden surprise. 
“You’re just like one of us.”
Suddenly, a place to be
a community. 

So I visit each and every house
in this humble coal camp in Harlan county,
listen to the people’s strories
each one somehow flawed
but less deeply than I, it seems. 

Another mountain preacher said, 
“How beautiful, these mountains. “
How deep his sense of the sacred. 
He told me of his work on the coal mines, 
how the miners built the union
from the ground up, 
then faced the machine gun
mounted on the counter of the company store. 

When the strip mines came
the beautiful mountains were destroyed. 
He remembered the earlier times, 
But what now, what is to be done?
He hears about a meeting, 
The Appalachian Group to Save the Land and People
“Buddy, let’s go.”

A deep sense of the sacred, 
neighbors joining neighbors, 
a movement builds
taking action toward the good. 
Mountain preachers peaching, teaching
God is love, and love is good. 
Good God, save the land and the people. 
Do Good Work. 

August 2, 2013