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Poetic License: ‘The Walrus in the Gulf’

By Staff | Nov 26, 2019

Joe Pacheco

(From Sanibel Joe’s Songbook)

BP was drilling in the Gulf

Drilling with all its might:

It did its very worst to make

Its profits big and bright –

This was not odd, because they thought

It was their corporate right.

The Greens were pouting sulkily

Because they thought BP

Had got no business to be there

In such a fragile sea –

“It’s dangerous,” they said,

To wildlife, you and me.”

The Gulf was blue as blue could be

Its beaches white as white,

And suddenly there rose black clouds

To turn the day to night –

Weighed down by toxic spill

There were no birds in flight.

The Walrus on the Gulf beach

Had no one to hold his hand.

He wept like anything to see

Tar balls on the sand.

“If this were only cleared away,”

He said, “It would be grand.”

“If guest-worker maids with imported mops

Swept them for half a year

Do you suppose” the Walrus asked,

“That they could get them clear?”

“I doubt it,” said BP’s Hayward,

“What are you doing here?”

“This time I’ve come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things,

Of skimmers, shrimp and pelicans

With crude oil on their wings,

And why the Gulf still boiling hot,

Each day disaster brings.”

“You swore I’d be protected

From environmental fears,

Though I haven’t fished these waters

For at least three million years.

You owe me at least some oysters

And non-alcoholic beers.”

“Your BP spill’s the worst disaster

Ever known to God or Man,

And worse, you have included me

In your false protection plan,

Without a word or warning

Before the spill began.”

“I’ll be swimming back to Alaska

Where thank God, it’s ten below,

Hauling out with my old harem

On a brand new icy floe,

The only walrus who’s ever swum

In the Gulf of Mexico.”