Mud Buttes

Letter to Editor,

On a recent tour through your area with a group from  A.L.L.(Alberta Life-wide Living) Writing Centre, I took the opportunity to write about some of my reflections and musings regarding the area.  I want to share those musings with you in the hope you may find them worthy of publication in your local newspaper.
Thanks for your consideration.
Vivianne Grue
Camrose, Ab.

Mud Buttes

It’s late when we return
From our Mud Buttes expedition.
Did Johnny Appleseed really
Sprinkle scrub brush seeds
And the rare elm tree seed
In this area?
We must be tired.
We are giddy.
I am giddy to overflowing
With the awesome vibrations
Of God’s creation
I experience today.
The mud/clay hills
And deep crevices,
The sage and willows,
Queen Anne’s lace, brown-eyed susans
And golden cone flowers.
The 360º panoramic splendour
A feast for the eyes and the spirit.
Am I dreaming?
Pinch me please
So I know it’s real.
I relish the smell of fresh sage
Stunted here for lack of moisture.
The skies are teaming
With image projections
In motion and shadow play.
I love the sun’s afterglow
On cloud bellies.
I feel the cooling breeze
Breathe on me.
Ah! All of it -God’s holy grace.


Brightness peers through the opening
In the block-out drapes.
I’m glad.
Sun warmth and light invigorate me,
Make me want to rise.
I need sunshine like I need air.
It’s going to be
Another Alberta sunshine day.

My roommates are sleeping.
I dress quietly.
Go downstairs for coffee.
The oil patch workers
Come and go.
One shift in, one shift out.
There is apparently quite a lot
Of ongoing fracking activity
In the Consort area.

I engage a young man
In conversation.
He is unsure about
The long term effects of fracking.
But – it feeds his family
Which feeds other families
As the same dollars
Go full circle.

It is an ethical dilemma.
No easy solutions.
The surrounding agricultural rangelands
Are amazing.
I wonder how we can and if we will
Be better stewards of our land
And when?

About the author

ECA Review


  • Thank you for publishing Vivianne Grue’s informative and stirring pieces about Mud Buttes and her experience in the Consort area. Her reflections on the profound beauty of the area are a welcome read.

    In addition to her description of the physical environment, I find her venture into matters of land stewardship timely. Through her writing she helps me understand better the tensions that are forming around agriculture and rangeland – put to a different use due to the human appetite for oil.

    I would like to hear more from her conversations about fracking with the young men she met who support their families through their work in the oil extraction industry.

    Many thanks for publishing these verses. We need to hear more from writers who are inspired by and write about the incredible Battle River landscape.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading these two poems written by Vivianne Grue. The imagery was vivid and compelling, drawing me in and inciting my curiosity about visiting this area. Ms. Grue’s description of “the sun’s afterglow on cloud bellies” was pure deliciousness.

    These poems are captivating and memorable.

    More poetry please!