Promises to Keep
If you think the mountains will be there
Nothing is ever certain
I taught my children about nature
With camera in hand I walked this land
I used to look below… at green waters flow
Does no good to cry, get tears in your eye
Let us look unto these hills before they are fills
When we look at our Maker's mountains
About the Author
Gary Epling was born and raised in Coal River, another small mining town, about 30 minutes from Montcoal. After several years of being away, Gary returned to his hometown after the disaster and received the inspiration to write the poem.
In Gary's words, "I am not anti-coal since many of my friends and family worked there. What I do oppose is a particular type of mining called "Mountain Top Removal". It wrecks the environment and adversely affects the health and resources of those in a community. I was terribly shaken when I climbed a mountain top ridge and looked upon the devastation cause by irresponsible mining for the sake of profit. This wasn't just any mountain, just any river, or just any land. This was the mountain God gave me to explore, enjoy and love as a growing boy. The poem only begins to capture my sorrow and my anger."