Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Laguna, Part 8 - The Impaired

Here is the latest installment on my Laguna poem: section 8.It is still very much a draft, but thought I would post it anyway to keep myself going.


14-mile wetland, this 254-square mile watershed that’s spread between four cities where history’s left over sediments are still being removed. By 1990, 92% of the Laguna’s riparian forest was gone.

Left arm reaching into Copeland, Washoe and Blucher Creeks. Right arm reaching into Santa Rosa, Hinebaugh and Five Creeks.A mouth that breathes into Mark West Springs Creek.A backbone made of the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains. 

In summer months, the Laguna wastes into a silver
ribbon of water threaded between hills.
In winter months she spills and swells back into what she once was: a series of lakes that lead to the sea. 

Considered a national treasure. Listed as impaired
under the federal Clean Water Act for sediment, nitrogen, temperature, phosphorus, mercury and dissolved oxygen.

Which system is miraculous?   The plentiful before or the rescue of what’s left after?  

When you walk the smooth, grated paths that now rib the Laguna, hear a thousand oak leaves rustling in the light wind. and remember the miraculous ghost of what was once there.  

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