Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECORD DROUGHT -
- abetted by human greed that has:
dammed rivers, to suck the reservoirs dry;
chemically fracked oilfields, that leak into aquifers;
overwatered selfish yards and moneyed golf courses;
damned a blighted land, unwilling to reverse a hellish spell.
Long-dormant seeds need at least some
semblance of moisture to burst the husks
buried under dry, brittle, cracked soil of the
canyon badlands, where life waits no longer as
humanity wrestles with corporations and politicians.
Fissures of erosion runoff become
dry, dusty openings to an underworld;
no hormone, only water, can restore suppleness
to this drought-besieged land; yet each passing year
the West’s libido ebbs, now only desertification remains.
Desert lilies lie comatose in culverts along Reche Canyon;
anorexic burros have dispersed, no longer herding,
thinned out with vanishing forage heat-seared;
the cliché of some is ‘dry as a bone,’ but this
boneyard no longer contains any marrow.
Eyes saturated - too many shades of jade,
razored cliffs with veiled valleys of the Na Pali coast,
sapphire sea with sky grayed by a gathering storm.
Youth blinded to horizons
Fall voyages begin