no restrictions

In the late 80s I hitchhiked to the central west coast of Vancouver Island, to the remote community of Tahsis, the last 40 km of the journey on gravel road. Clear cuts were abundant in the area, many visible from the road, and one coming overtop the hill behind the mill at the entrance of Tahsis. I camped at a small, deserted, municipal campsite, close to the water, at the far end of the town.

remoteness of Tahsis made it extremely inconvenient for industry to dispose of waste appropriately.

There seemed to be, simply put, no restrictions on how things were done in and around Tahsis. Or if there were restrictions, they weren't heeded, or did not need to be.

The poem was thus inspired by my visit to the lake and my experience of the region generally.

On one of my reconnaissance missions I found a small mountain lake that would have been exquisitely beautiful had it not been for the clearcut of half the surrounding slopes.

It was not just the logging that was disturbing, but the recklessness, and apparent shamelessness, with which it was practiced. The locals knew it was being practiced unsustainably. Everyone knew: loggers, mill workers, and those who were pushing new roads into the bush. A tugboat operator I met confessed to me to making illegal midnight dumps of waste; the

On the beach not far from where I took the picture of the men in their boat.




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