Share this page

129,860 people have already pledged to help end mountaintop removal.
Add your voice!

Tell me more

Go Tell It on the Mountain
The High Cost of Coal
Please Donate


Contributed Prayers


Thursday, September 28th, 2006

A poem submitted by Angelyn DeBord. She is an Appalachian-born and raised storyteller, actress, playwright and workshop leader from Gate City, VA.

Creeper Trail photo by Kent KessingerI think of the children,
they’re young and they’re willing,
to lift up their wings and to fly.

But their way it is tangled,
don’t let them be mangled,
by the greed that we
pass down the line.

I lift mine eyes up now unto these hills
from whence always my help it has come.
I holler, “God help us,
Man’s greed it has scalped us,
for a strange definition of wealth.”

The mountains we love now,
God knows they’re our home now,
they’ve helped, they’ve held us for years.
But the land of our mother is now seeking cover
as the bulldozers strip off her crown.

What God has created,
Man’s greed’s laid asunder.
You can’t build a mountain back up.
But our children have voices,
let’s raise them to use them,
together we can save this land.

Yes, together we can save this land.

Say: together we can save this land.

Pray: together we can save this land.

14 Responses to “THE KENTUCKY HILLS: A bad rap!”

  1. Marc P. Grammenos Says:

    The 11th commandment:I remember rainforests we once had, now lost, unrecoverable,destroyed by greed, by insensitivity, and failure to understand a simple truth…..all the beauty of the earth is not ours, it was loaned to us by our children and all those yet to come….This sacred trust now violated, This pact with God broken, The understood unspoken commandment: Love the earth. Protect and preserve it. ” The earth was not placed here to be corrupted.” {It seems to me that God did not intend that we behave like a plague of locusts upon the earth.} Part of this is a paraphrase of a Kenyan proverb, and part quoted from Margie Richard/Sierra 98′.

  2. Anna Vamvakias Says:

    Forest of Rain,
    falls plentifully into
    oceans, rivers, and streams

    When will we ever
    learn; our lives are entwined through
    droplet, grain, and cell

  3. Georgann E. Putintsev Says:

    There is Sacred Geometry in ALL things and its repeated every season in Nature so we have HOPE from him.
    Flowers speak volumes of Gods Universal Love & Trust
    And the Trees shout their LOVE back but only few hear their wind song.
    Let us count our blessings before we count Casears Gold.
    Blessings we can take with us when we go to meet our Maker, Our Father God who has given us SO much we cannot comprehend what his word alone has done.
    Bless our Mother Earth and all who hold her dear.
    Have patience for those who falter from your path for a different light that sparkles.
    Lead them to seeing & knowing the true beauty in nature so they can repent and make amends.
    We can Rebuild Thy EARTH in HEAVENS IMAGE!
    In & Through THY NAME,
    Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! Oh Heavenly Host!
    Thank You!

  4. B. Zachary Totten Says:

    I was raised at Kayford. Born in Charleston, but raised in Kayford till Bethleham shut down. I now make a living there and am proud to be a surface mine engineer near the town I grew up in. They way I look at it is if Massey, Patriot, and/or Arch owns it they should be able to do what they want as long as it is within the bounderies of the law. AND IT IS. The reason they own it is because Larry’s own relatives sold it to them. If there is a problem with that buy it back and you can do what you want with it. Until then shut up and let the owners do what they want on the property they pay taxes on.

  5. Karen Rose Says:

    I agree with Zachary Totten (who I believe is a former Decota Elem. classmate of mine…hi Zachary!).

    WV is full of highly skilled miners…and for most, mining is all they know. Our daily struggles of survival leave us practically handicapped to find other means of work…mining is basically all there is here. So we are trapped. Our families’ well-being is all that matters. Who will feed our families? Not you little miss sing a song about the pretty hill! Who will clothe our children? Who will help pay hospital and medical bills? Who will fix or maintain our vehicles or pay our car payments? Who will pay our mortgages and taxes and insurances?
    God takes care of his children and blessed are the hard workers…so let us continue to work hard and pray our land will be more beautiful than before. Obviously the coal won’t last forever here but because of the work available today then hopefully we can afford our children educational oppurtunites to change tomorrow. It is all about greed to some people, but for most of us, its about surviving and taking care of our families. God bless you all!

  6. Karen Rose Says:

    Well, if I had my choice I would really prefer deep mining because I do know our beautiful land is dissappearing and our water is being contaminated and the rich is getting richer and as quickly as the mountain top removal profits that rich man, the quicker he’ll have used us up and on his way to another quick buck with no regard to people or land. As much as we need jobs and money in our area, I still have to stop and realize the long term effects and what the future holds here. Surely there’s an answer somewhere.

  7. B. Zachary Totten Says:

    I wish all the coal seams were four to six foot high so we could deep mine them all, but they are not. Until we find another source of energy that can feed the greedy consumers that we are we will have to take what is left and that means MTR. Its 14 degrees tonight. Try to heat everyones house on a night like this with wind/solar. I’ll bet you freeze your ass off. I return to Kayford to hunt on the reclaimed areas and fish in the valley fill ponds. As a kid in the 70’s there were no deer, bear, or turkey, and now they are plentiful living on the reclaimed mine sites. Hey Karen it is your old classmate.

  8. TR GROSS Says:

    Listen people if you are against coal so much prove it. TURN OUT YOUR LIGHTS. LIVE IN THE DARK. What you use everday and every light show you think is pretty or what ever, is powered by coal. Now after saying that, Everybody that lives in West Virginia and any other coal counties or stats. Has to have coal to survive. Even my family, for you all to get on here and say this crazy things is one step closer to taking food out of my kids mouth. I HOPE YOU ALL ARE HAPPY. Now im not hatting on you all, because you all dont get to see what happens to 95% of the MTR, is reclaimed into shopping malls,housing projects for the rich and the poor, highways, wildlife, so you tell me what is so bad to go so far to try to get MTR vanished. Now I know what you are thinking he works on an MTR, no I dont I work in a deep mines, and it would actually help me out by MTR was gone, but im seeing the big picture we need all the coal we can get. That and there are so many familys that rely on coal, there kids would starve and there family members would have no medical and if they had something wrong with them they would just be out of luck. So people I what you to think about this and I personaly dont see how you people sleep at night. Especially you ASHLEY JUDD, me and wife was a very big fan of yours until you promoted this web site.

  9. Nikki Says:

    We all need to survive day-to-day and educate and feed our children, but what will be left for them if we disrespect and destroy the earth? Shopping malls? Seems to me that’s trading our birthright for a mess of pottage.

  10. Shirlene Says:

    No one has to turn their lights off if they are against mountain top removal. To be against mountain top removal is not to be against the people of those areas…. I was born in a coal mining camp and grew up there… I love my people and others living there. Coal has not advanced the area and will destroy our true wealth… the mountains and the land and the water. There should be tourism and value added agriculture and other small industry. The Appalachian Mountains are truly one of the beauties of the world. Many of the young always have to leave their area to find work. Even if they wanted to work in the mines, there is not enough work for the young. The coal mine operators keep using smaller numbers to recover the valuable resource. And the true cost will be borne by those left when they move on.

  11. Shirlene Says:

    The people who live in Appalachia coal country should be demanding more from the coal operators. If they support the mountain removal, what are they getting in return… a temporary job? Every day the mountains are being destroyed you should at least be demanding shools, infrastructure, value added industries. They could offer small loans to start small businesses, help build the tourist industry. But no they just take and go. When they leave this time, they won’t be back.

  12. Misk Hills Mountain Rambler Says:

    A Song/Poem by the Misk Hills Mountain Rambler (UK)

    Bright Appalachian Morning © Taylorsongsmithery 2010

    Twas a bright, bright Appalachian morning
    The birds they were singing on the mountain
    The men all kissed their sleeping children
    The Massey Mine . . . she was a callin’

    Twas a bright, bright Appalachian morning
    They rode deep, deep under West Virginia
    The air was thin under Raleigh County
    The birds stopped singing on the mountain
    . . . the air was so thin x 2

    Around three there was a big explosion
    And then a violent fire took hold
    29 good men, just running coal
    Crushed inside that deep dark hole . . .
    the profits were high x2

    Josh Napper wrote a letter to his lady
    If anything happens to me baby
    I’ll be looking down from heaven at y’ all
    Please take care of my baby girl . . .
    take care of my girl x2

    Twas a bright, bright Appalachian morning
    They held a vigil on the mountain
    Preacher asked the Lord if he would save them
    Twas a dark, dark Appalachian evening . . .
    the profits were high x 2

    Twas a bright, bright Appalachian morning x 2
    The birds they stopped singing on the mountain x 2
    The profits were high x 2
    The price of life . . . x 2

  13. video galerisi Says:


    Twas a bright, bright Appalachian morning x 2
    The birds they stopped singing on the mountain x 2
    The profits were high x 2
    The price of life . . . x 2

  14. pornoizle Says:


    Twas a bright, bright Appalachian morning x 2
    The birds they stopped singing on the mountain x 2
    The profits were high x 2
    The price of life . . . x

Leave a Reply

Appalachian Voices  •  Coal River Mountain Watch  •   Heartwood  •  Keeper of the Mountains • Kentuckians for the Commonwealth 

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition  •   Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment • Sierra Club Environmental Justice

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards  •   SouthWings  •  Stay Project  •   West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Buy stickers, shirts, hats, and more...

Site produced by Appalachian Voices 171 Grand Blvd, Boone, NC 28607 ~ 1-877-APP-VOICE (277-8642) ~