Drought in Washington / Shelter-Building Workshop

DSC_1391 copyThis past weekend, we hosted a shelter-building workshop to work on outdoor skills, grow our connection to Earth, and build community. It was a small event but we had a great time. The photo here shows what we built at the base of a mother Cedar tree.

Editorial note: this poem by our good friend and fellow DGR member William Falk is about the drought affecting California — but Washington State has just experienced it’s warmed winter on record, and now more than half of the state is experiencing official drought conditions.

My California Drought

By Will Falk

there’s water, at least,
on the coast
and that’s where I’m heading

when stopped near
Petaluma, California
a sunburnt sign
hangs over a vineyard
celebrating a family
insurance business’s

the phrase,
“through the Great Depression,
the Great Recession,
and seven wars”
is typed under
the smiling faces
of men in uniform

maybe it’s my own depression
or personal poverty
that make me ponder
my own longevity

that force me to the ocean
during these times of drought

I don’t know, but
the brown coats of sheep
are sprinkled like dust
on the tree-less voids
they call hill-sides

what once flowed through here
left cattle to settle like pebbles
in the washed-out roadbed

the vultures are thirsty
winos circling the vines
by the time they get there
they’ll find only raisins

the wars I’ve seen
are water wars
and they dry my vision
leaving me to believe
wet is only an illusion

that’s not even blood
flecked on the feathers
of red-winged blackbirds
perched uneasily
on a barbed-wire fence


This poem was originally published at the San Diego Free Press.

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