portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary oregon & cascadia

corporate dominance | environment | sustainability

Oregon, Poor Oregon!

Oregon's official state song ("Oregon, My Oregon") praises the glory of the empire-building that has destroyed the Eden it once was. I humbly submit this poem as the new state song. Right-wingers and left-wing Dems alike are hell-bent on destroying what little is left through more empire-building in the name of "managing" "inevitable" growth. To stop the madness, we need speak out for an economy and mode of living that holds the land and its habitat, flora and fauna as the most sacred manifestations of existence here in Oregon. Comments are welcome.
The Revised State Song

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
Land of the once-Golden West, our plagued Eden,
vast and gentle untamed expanse of the Chinook and Kalipooyans
of the humble and majestic oaks, of the boundless fisheries
of the roaming cougar, bear and wolf, of the free-ranging elk and deer
of the massive congeries of songbirds, the wheeling hawk and eagle
of the undisturbed sea mammals and the untrammeled deserts
of the uninterrupted, undulating carpet of hemlock, fir and cedar—
to what ruin has befallen your once virgin soil?

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
The contagion of my ancestors martyred the blood of your native daughters and sons
whose grieving survivors were corralled off your valleys to perish by the Santiam Pass
whose longhouses and totems were struck
whose forests were clearcut and burned
whose mighty Columbia and Snake rivers were dammed
whose Celilo Falls was blown to shards and flooded over
whose ancient guiding stories inscribed on the rocks were submerged
all to make way for the engines of Empire in the sham of rosy Promise.

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
a thousand and one laments I lift to your denuded peaks,
your poisoned valleys and eroded slopes
your dying, turbid streams and rivers strewn with the run-off
of nuclear and cattle wastes and with fifty-thousand rotting salmon carcasses,
to your resort-littered coastline, your violated night skies,
your hacked and suburbanized savannahs, your hoof-trampled prairies.

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
In what pretty picture have our Empire builders painted you?
mailed on a thousand and one postcards to investors far away.
We who whore you, lure the masses come rivet and crowd upon you.
With each new factory, condo, auto and superstore we beat and bruise you.
More diligent than ants we multiply and dig, forcing entry and forging injury
upon your underground bones.

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
How much more trading off can your limited bounty bear?
The heritage of your natives has been funneled into casinos and kitschy getaways.
Ever ravenous, our New Urbanists and plastic house makers
itch to impound the Clackamas lowlands and wooded hills of Damascus
within a brand new Portland, connected by a "Sunrise" Highway.
Will we sell all of you off to the lowest bidder, chain you and tame you to a theme park,
then further brown your skies and grey your waters
with forever more lanes and bridges, malls, and monetary show?

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
What grim futures have our bankers and planners envisioned for you?
A steady stream of new resettlers year by year, so long as we pack them in tight.
hurrahs are raised for the Blazer Arena and the Bud Clark Convention Center,
the hi-tech and biotech research centers, impersonating God, proud to be slapped on the map.
More hurrahs for the globalized local workforce preened from the cradle up
set in fierce competition against poorer wage slaves of the same foreign investors.

O Oregon, my poor Oregon!
what heroes among your children will stand up and fight to defend you
push out the rabid pack wolves of Empire, onward and forward,
to unbury your fairest and best fields, to restore your sapped health and vigor
to clean up your western seashore, make pure again your dirtied summer breezes
and visible and white again your towering summits, visible and scarlet your setting sun?

O Oregon, my sweet Oregon!
as hope flies from your hazy skies, to its tail feathers we must clasp
to stabilize and not let overstep again our teeming populations,
to rehabilitate us yahoos with our SUVs, our guns and our ATVs,
our parasitic industries, our corporate prisons and our jet-skis.

O Oregon, our priceless Oregon!
forgive us somehow our sinister, careless trespasses
as we try and seal our solemn vows to silence the engine beasts of Empire
to let flourish again your multitudinous flora and fauna
to let loose to sing wild and strong again your ancient waterways
to fortify true and profound our bonds with you as your loving children.

O Oregon, our dying Oregon!
all hails and prostrations to you noble Father, kindest Mother—
let us make good our corrected Promise before you fade and we lose you forever!!

"Oregon, Poor Oregon!" Copyright © 2002 M. Scott Jones
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any informational storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review or in the case where no financial or in-kind revenues are received i in tangent with its printing and/or distribution. For permissions and information, contact the author at:msjns AT hevanet.com
How long... 09.Jul.2003 12:31


...did it take you to copy that "copyright" part? You dork.

Maybe you should choose another state in which to live?

Love its destruction or or leave it?? 09.Jul.2003 13:05


Do you read his copyright in full? Why is he a dork because he wants to share his material? What's the point in name-calling?

Why should he move to another state because he wants to stop the destruction? Are you for wanton corporate takeover and destruction of the countryside?

Because... 09.Jul.2003 13:20


...he probably actually believes somebody will want to reproduce "the work" or quote from it, as if it's a marketable piece of art. What a dork.

The only problem with Oregon is the liberals in Multnomah County and the assholes in the Legislature who waste our tax money.

no, why don't you... 09.Jul.2003 21:01


choose another state to live in, since it should hardly make any difference to you, as you already indicated you don't give a
rat's ass about anything that makes Oregon unique or different from any of the rest of the oozing industrial commercial
stripmine stripmaul hellhole that constitutes the rest of these "united states" ?

we deserve it 10.Jul.2003 07:52


whatever trials Oregon goes through, we deserve it for we have wronged the native americans hundreds of years ago and still today. Bring on the famine, disease, and locusts. We're getting our due reward!

N/A 10.Jul.2003 08:20


Couldn't agree with you more. I'm wondering if some of these poeple have been to some other states with their endless strip malls and suburban sprawl and dead cities. Oregonians don't know how lucky they are. Oh and ??, it's the neo-conservatives that would like to make this state look like all the rest (sales taxes, private beachfront property, strip malls on Mt. Hood etc.)