California Storm

This poem, from the perspective of a camera,  begins with a close-up, pulls back to a long shot, pans over a large area, and then ends with a middle shot.

California Storm

This morning’s paper

delivered the soaked news.

Driveway drain backs up,

the garage begins to flood.

Coastal oaks, parched for months now,

will be refreshed; wild grass

will grow green-long in rings

beneath rough-bark branches.

Fire-scorched hillsides soak until

soil slumps onto roads and homes.

Dry stream beds full of beer cans

foam cups, condoms, and animal scat

flush into the Pacific.

Frogs pop out of the mud near vernal ponds,

sing, mate, and create polliwogs

that dart around the mallards.

Fields soaked, Mixtec farmworkers

hunker down in the dank motel rooms of

Santa Maria, Salinas, and Watsonville.

Poppies and lupines will soon bloom

orange/blue along the 101.

On the slopes of the Coastal Range

mountain lions slip through wet chaparral.

Up among the gray and coulter pines

and the high canyon stands of Douglas fir,

black bears wait out the storm

in caves where stone-age folk

contemplated forests

transformed by snow.

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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

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