Under split nails and ground into our hides,
we wear our work—we carry it in our lungs
without shame or regret like grazing beasts

of the field, harvesting hillsides, plodding
from water to shade—ever-trusting in change:
the miracle of clouds packing oceans of rain.

Circles with hay, ruts of dust deep in tracks
up mountains and through brittle canyons—
it boils, rising behind us in trailing clouds,

each particle prepared for a new beginning.
We leave the gates open to any water, any
collection seeping from the cracked granite

heart of these hills, our flesh, for a drink.
The unabashed, dusty gazette of soft trails
leading to each distant water trough

prints last night’s news, distributed far
and wide, but much the same—yet we cling
to fuzzy dreams of green without detail.





WPC(3) — “Dreamy”


4 responses to “COLOR WITHOUT DETAIL

  1. You’ve got to know a little about the hills, the drought and the land, I think to feel the emotion in this poem, John. And the unique color (s) of Caifornia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are, of course, so dependent on the land, as you know, that personification comes easily, as we become the beasts we feed. Not terribly sure where this song came from this morning, except that it’s getting old and repetitive, and we’re getting so tired of it, especially with no rain in sight for the remainder of the month, that it’s becoming difficult to imagine these hills as ever green.


  2. Yesterday, I observed a neighbor washing down his driveway and sidewalk with one of the biggest diameter hoses I have ever seen. I mentioned that not only was it illegal with our drought, but I asked if he realized how many livestock that water could sustain one more day or how many vegetables that could water so his family could eat? A simple dismissive reply of, “I can afford it”.


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