My brother, the old farmer, says
that it’s about over, that out
in the Valley where I seldom stray,

brand new drilling rigs rise
every two miles above the orchards,
out of corn fields reaching past

underground rivers that have lost
their way—like locusts, like aliens
descended to pound and perforate

the earth with steel, pneumatic
proboscises, they shine
through sun and starlight.

In the garden, the damp earth
moves, as if alive, with tree frogs
and toads traveling the shade

from flower leaf to vegetable
like a plague, like a sign
at the end of farming

or this drought, or for El Niño rains?
All the wishing at the wellhead
doesn’t matter to a tree frog.



Very strong El Niño likely during autumn/winter 2015-2016; significant impacts possible in California


4 responses to “YEAR OF THE FROG

    • Sorry Angeline, the chances of recharging the aquifers out in the Valley are pretty slim. It will take floods in the magnitude of 1867 when food and freight were shipped to Visalia from Stockton by boat in the middle of May 1868, when the Tulare Lake spread across the Valley.


  1. It is so great to see frogs. When I was teaching an Environmental Course to my secondary classes I always said that a frog was like the thermometer your mother uses to take your temperature to see if you are sick.Most kids had no idea because most mothers had no idea. And maybe we could learn something from our old people.

    Liked by 1 person

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