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