Saturday, November 18, 2006

PoCo --HiO, a Serenade to the Crude Colored Moon

(Any connection between characters depicted herein and actual above ground realities is purely your imagination)


Petroleum Professor Ichabod Cranebrain Yergin was poking around the Ohio backwoods one lonely evening, wondering and pondering over certain above-ground contingencies.

A parabolic moon shot silvery shadows from surrounding hilltops and out along the foggy track before him like so many elongated coins rolling just out of reach. He yearned to grasp their meaning. However, an unexpected headwind flapped across his ears at the moment, cutting short his monetary rumminations. "Poke-Ohio" is what the wind seemed to whisper into the over-oiled drums of his ears. The event rattled his nerves somewhat.

To ease his upset, he began to whistle a calming CERA-nade (pronounced "serenade"). Its enchanting lyrics spoke of a boundless Arizona Mesa (a raised plateau of sorts) that lifts out of the desert and fills to its top with undulating waves of wealth and resources. It was a happy tune, one that raises the spirits even when troubling shadows foretell of a time of want. It was a chant oft used by the Suv-aJo Indians of Arizona in their native CERA-monies.

Just beyond a Peakedshale tree, he thought he spied the lurid shape of a young Indian maiden. Her spirited figure seemed to beckon, "Follow on this way my heron-necked friend." Her almost naked form slipped forward into the darkness. He bounded after her, accelerating down the arcing trail, wondering where she would lead him.

He pursued with cornucopian curiosity, still trying to whistle his happy times CERA-nade, perhaps a bit more haltingly and unsuredly than before.

(And as he moved ... he mouse-clicked on every image along his way. You should click here first, start the music and then hit Alt-{Tab} to get back to the unfolding story.)

A cave opened its over-arching mouth for him, laying its frothy tongue invitingly down into a slippery slope underworld. He stepped in and began sliding down, all the while thinking, no it's not a downward slip or a graceless fall from paradise, it's just an undulation from the echo chambers of my mind. Too late to step back, he realized. Shadows on the cave wall sped by, telling him he'd sometime ago been here before. He was coming face to scarface with a troubling truth, an inconvenient answer 'bout what may lie ahead.

Deeper within the subterrestrial hole he began to hear a shrill voice blowing like the wind again and scorning him for his cornucopian ways:

You think you'll own whatever Soil the Oil's in ...

The Earth is just something to prime, pump and undulate ...

But I know every rock, 'n crease, 'n feature,
Has a lie, has porosity, has a rate

You think the only people who are "people"
Are the people who lie and cheat like you
But if you walk the footsteps of an oilman
You'll find unknowable knowables you never knew you never knew

Have you ever heard the drill bite 'neath the cold crude moon?
Or asked the toiling bobcatter why he toils?
Can you sing with all the voices of the hillocks?
Can you paint with all the colors of the oils?
Can you paint with all the colors of the oils?

Come run the hidden siesmic trails of the desert
Come taste the sun-soaked liquids of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches under and around you
And for once, never wonder how to profit from their worth

The rainstorms and the rivers are my brothers
The air and stratosphere are my fresh scent
And we are all connected to each other
In a globe, in a hoop that that breaks when too far bent

Have you ever heard the oil rig groan 'neath the cold crude moon?
Or let the rig fitter tell you where he next will drill?
Can you sing with all the voices of the hillocks?
Can you paint with all the curves of logistic fill?
Can you paint with all the colors of crudeless spill?

How high will all the gushing oil more expand and grow?
If you don't linearize its trajectory, then you'll never know ...
And you'll never near sustainability 'neath the ethanol corn moon

For whether we are poor or of gold colored skins
We need to sing with all the voices of the hillocks
We need to paint with all the colors of bell shaped spins

You can own the Earth and its reserves
But what you'll own is of little worth, ... until
You can paint with all the colors of Hubbert's whims ...

(PoCO-HiO ... it means Party Of Cheap Oil ---Help! It's Over.)

1 comment:

head lem said...

Editorial notes:
1. What's in a name?
This posting has undergone numerous revisions. One issue is that of ascribing names and labels to others of our species. The names or name-callings cast certain attributes upon the objects of our affections: cornucopians, peakists, doomers-gloomers, etc. The name "Ichabod Crane" should bring back recollections of the story of the Headless Horseman and the frightened school teacher who faced off with the night rider in the lonely woods. A Crane-Brain is, of course, a bird brain. Additionally, crane rhymes with brain --a little candy for that portion of our brain that likes to be fed simple patterns.