Tag Archives: California




for Mark Arax

The ground is sinking
to where the water used to be
all across the San Joaquin,

agriculture’s deficit spending
leveraged into fortunes
for California’s kings.

This side of the Sierra divide,
it’s always been ‘boom or bust’,
flood or drought,

nothing normal
in between
to bank on

but drill more wells for nuts:
almonds and pistachios,
another million humans

to farm like cattle,
corral in cubicles
they can’t afford.

With the nature of California,
paradox or conundrum,
a constant battle.




photo: Bodhi Rouse

photo: Bodhi Rouse


Never figured on a sunset,
children, grandchildren around
a smoky Live Oak fire,
the SoCal storm bleeding north

                    above a frost-bitten garden—
                    dry stem tomatoes
                    and peppers hanging
                    like ornamental gifts
                    for Christmas.

I thought I escaped California in 1970
to ride back through time, didn’t think
I’d camp in one place this long.

Never figured on iPhone photos,
satellite dish for shade—
or planning for a future
that depends on water
and obsolescence.






Left 100 miles
towards Tonopah, dry hay
for California.



WPC(1) — “Rule of Thirds”


Dark, about to rain
(confirmed on NOAA) –
there is no poetry today,

no sweet metaphors left
on the watermelon wagon
as we bump along.

Instead, I listen for
the whir of early drops
upon the roof, ready

to fall into a long sigh
and broadleaf grin,
too edgy now to write.

The grass will come
on stronger, hold ‘til
the Ides of March –

until another, hopefully.
It’s dark, about to rain
buckets-full, they say,

promising for a week.
Slow arriving, late to stay
awhile, or miss these

gray south slopes
altogether – you
never know in California.