Drought Remedy

You can tell by the gathering thunderheads
     that enough modern day shamans must have performed
     today’s most effective rain dance rituals—
          either by washing their cars
or planning outdoor weddings in the spring.

Not to be superstitious, but let us not jinx this
     by looking at the weather channel
     rather than stepping outdoors to feel the air.

And quick, before the sky opens,
     let us reroute these aluminum gutters,
     street side gullies,
     concrete culverts,
     dikes, ducts and drains designed
to protect us from flood by dehydrating the landscape.

With some reverse engineering,
     backwards pioneering,
     and a handy undo-it-yourself mentality
     we can turn convention on its head
     like an upside-down umbrella
and slow, spread, and sink this sweet rainfall.

Let’s dig us some swales
     swollen with saturated sponges
     of punky wood and mushroom mycelium
     and strengthened with the rebar-like roots of resilient plants.
     Watch as these drops filter through the earth
     to fill our emptied aquifers,
those underground rivers thirsty too long now
     under impervious parasols of parching pavement.

Shakened and awakened by the thunder on the horizon now,
     why not go out barefoot in these cold showers,
     quench our skin,
     celebrate
and sing our appreciation with the frogs?
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Cul de Sac

houses
Cul de Sac

Here you see a fifth acre of desert scrub.
A black plastic weed barrier buried under decomposed granite
     with soggy cactus,
     overwatered mesquite, and 
Mojave natives poking their heads 
     through circular holes.
A tall century bloom swarms with hummingbirds.

Next door, you find a formal lot imported from colonial England,
     with gingerbread epoxied to the stucco.
     A trimmed lawn with an ornamental plum
     sprouts bushes and hedges trimmed like lollipops.
A red-brick walkway sways pleasantly to the red front door.

Apparently, a fifth acre chunk of Hawaii has been excavated
     shipped overseas,
     and dropped into the plot next door...
     Plop!
          Bermuda grass, 
          palm trees, 
          ginger flowers and
          trailing bamboo... 
     (the curse of colonial England next door) 
all flank a pink mailbox in a pad of black lava rock.

Down the street, an awkward crispy orange pine tree
     and some ceramic squirrels 
     create the high mountain ambiance of a Swiss glen.  
The Dutch annuals explode along the sidewalk like
     red, yellow, blue and green fireworks
     (miracle-y growing so far from their Nordic relatives)
     with their plastic name and care tags 
sprouting from the salt-and-pepper soil like fuses.

The Hawaiians, Mexicans, English and Swiss
gossip in their driveways, rolling eyes and cursing the house at 
the end of the block, so flagrantly violating the HOA...

Just look at its weedy, unwatered yard going to seed:
     an unpruned wild oak planted by jays,
          dandelions, 
          chickweed, 
          lambs quarters, 
          Red Maids and 
          coastal sage overflowing the mowing strip...
No gardeners here but the wild birds.   
Look at them
     munching wild seeds,
     checking their migration maps, 
     and wondering
“where on earth are we, anyway?”