A poem for Southern California…
Once so, I cannot help but feel it.
Struck-in-the-eye by its limpid quality.
Or, rather what’s left of it.
Arcing above a land parched by lack of water and,
Lack of care – too much attention –
Too little care. Unloved.
Worried, harried, blown clear on a schedule.
Gasoline burned to make a noise, scour the ground of anything considered out-of-place:
Leaves, twigs, fronds, berries, nuts, seed-pods;
Insects, amphibians, lizards, birds, rodents…
TruGreen™ painted on the sides of the trucks.
Such a cleansing.
Well on our way!
Whatever birds that remain must nest out of reach of the blasting nozzles – the swallows do not return…
Ladders and poles, poking and scratching away anything that wasn’t purchased.
A landscape scraped clear and replaced by items bought:
House-plants let loose.
Chosen to signify a land of ease where leisure belongs, watching immigrant toilers work at arbitrary tasks,
Keep busy or we’ll throw you out!
Perform our rituals in this cult of death.
Once. Even without plumes and towers of resin-y-smoke, rising from hillsides scorched black.
A constant burning.
On the horizon a cast, trends towards orange and brown, the colors of rust.
And, straight-up a focus-less indigo:
A violet, and ultra-marine – beyond-the-sea – over-the-ocean. Air extending impossibly-far over water.
Pacific. Almost half the Earth, a sea named in a single declaration upon the luck of the weather that particular day.
Weather that repeats and repeats as each hour blends into a day. A day into a week, a month….
Year after year.
Life spent waiting.
Not for something else.
Waiting for more-of-the-same.
Wishing for more-of-the-same.
Wanting nothing more than more-of-the-same.
A way of life?
In the next house and the next and the next and the next….
Built atop ruins.
Built on the backs of corpses.
The corpse of the land as well as those of its previous inhabitants.
A body lovely still. Soft curves beneath a desiccated skin.
Even in death, or nearly-so, lovely.
Scraps and tatters undeveloped – as yet.
My hungry eye, seeks out its beauty, met by gazes-of-greed:
Money to be made….
What does it buy?
A place to sit and wait.
Along with the rest.
Betting everything on a wish,
Is there still enough left for me?
A prayer sent skyward,
Grant me this last wish,
Still enough left for me….