Note: This is the second (and last) post of the 20/20 that is a reworking of an older script. This one a poem. Recognize the risk that this non-poet takes in sharing a poem publicly. Be gentle.
Tule (fog) hugs the contours while contrails etch the sky.
Dried blood sun slides in and out of the mist on its way up to kiss the dome
(It will crest orange before returning to ochre on its way back down)
Further south, sun retreats
Bested for now by Tule
Draped over the sprawl of another valley town that swallowed the earth
And spit out postage stamp size plots of pipe, concrete and pressed wood
From boreal forests far away
Back yards digesting the detritus of lives
No green to hide it
“Round up ready” orchards and fields
Producing “on demand”
Forced to bind up the nutrition in the dirt
So we can “feed the world” and
Throw away nearly half of what we grow.
Below the Delta all is yellow
As the Tule/sun battle continues
Sun will win come summer but tule holds sway in this season
Until noon or until all the tomorrows of winter have ended their reign
Fenced pens of beasts
Who elsewhere might be bovine
But here are shit-caked parts of the machine
That we hide here
(They live in their excrement
Their “cowness gone”)
The TV tells us how happy these machine parts are.
Can a replacement part be “happy”
And then faux clouds (Tule playing at being real “weather”)
Break down and the land begins to be revealed
For what we have imposed upon it.
Twine- and wire-bound-bumper-cars
Create traffic jams on field edge
Signs in Spanish
Reveal the origin of the drivers
Longing to go back
Unable to go back
Damned for not going back
Bound by the dream-turned-drudgery
That the fields and orchards and pens devise.
The drivers also part of the machine
Sun, now bone white
Stands behind Tule
A final warning that his time is almost up
Soon enough sun
And will batter this earth
(The hammer of heaven,
Pounding the anvil of summer ground)
We, meanwhile, wait for redemption of the whole scene
Seen from the train.