It's been a weird day, but then it's being a weird month. Los Angeles is getting brush fires... in January! Here we're just breaking temperature records, so far, and missing all our rain. The reservoirs and snow pack are both at historically low levels. Fruits and vegetables are already more expensive than I remember them ever being, and if winter remains dry they will get even more costly by summer. As producing dairy products and meat also requite lots of water, they will be going up too. I might be roasting a Guido myself before the year ends, unless somebody roasts me first.
It's feeling more and more like a slow disaster underway. I must now begin to consider the unthinkable— that the local breweries soon might not have enough water to keep operating! If that happens I might as well just... well, I don't know what. I've had a bottle of Sierra Nevada with dinner almost every night for decades. If I'm forced to substitute something made in Oregon or the east I might grow gills or a tail or something. I hope I don't have to find out.
by Gary Soto
The clouds shouldered a path up the mountains
East of Ocampo, and then descended,
Scraping their bellies gray on the cracked shingles of slate.
They entered the valley, and passed the roads that went
Trackless, the houses blown open, their cellars creaking
And lined with the bottles that held their breath for years.
They passed the fields where the trees dried thin as hat racks
And the plow’s tooth bit the earth for what endured.
But what continued were the wind that plucked the birds spineless
And the young who left with a few seeds in each pocket,
Their belts tightened on the fifth notch of hunger—
Under the sky that deafened from listening for rain.