Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Browning of California

Every year I sit in my home in Morgan Hill, look across Anderson Lake and watch as Finley Ridge turns brown. It even triggered some homage to Wallace Stevens.
Deer walk upon these mountains too.
Sere and brown in the early autumn sun,
Waiting for the spark, a conflagration
Racing up slope, opening hard-shelled seeds
Before an early winter rain brings back that
Life which we watched slowly fade in May.

The winter solstice passed and days will lengthen
Slowly into spring. Resurgent fluids flow up the veins of
Old oaks and blue-eyed grasses. Feeling the warming sun
Ancient peoples garlanded themselves in reds and oranges.

Come again, summer, with your hot dry winds.
Bring back the times when the sun sets late behind
Dark mountains and lingering fogs cool the slopes unto the sea.
I will sit and dream of seasons past and wait for the next turning.
I look at political events and see a similar browning of California and a governor who garlands himself in green rather than red or orange. From where will come the promise of the next turning? While the world is browning it seems the Green Party of California is intent upon fulfilling the prediction of irrelevancy.

The only signs that good will come from the upcoming General Assembly arise from the fact that the SF Green Party local has organized an alternative experience, something to do while entranched power blocks try to be proven winners rather than act to sustain the party. If this is to be a battle until death, then the death will be that of the party and we will be looking at a brownfields landscape.


Orval Osborne said...

Dear Wes,
Thanks for the poem. The hills and fog in SLO are just like that. I am sorry I won't be able to meet you at the Plenary (although I fully support your choice of family over this political event).
I am modestly optimistic about the Green Party, in spite of the evidence. The process we impose on ourselves is cumbersome, to say the least. It is very difficult to reach agreement (consensus) when people have chosen factions and villify the "other." But I have heard from a number of folks who want to accomplish something, and who are "non-aligned." I count myself as non-aligned, even though I have known the protagonists (antagonists?) for 15 years. We shall see, won't we? My position is there is nowhere else to go. I haven't voted for a Repub or a Demo since the 1980's, and I doubt I'll be able to vote for a pro-war, pro-corporation, pro-nuke candidate like Clinton or Obama. What's a boy to do?

Wes said...

You may be right that there is nowhere else to go. I will probably end up staying if there are signs that we can make some progress in selecting our leadership.

There is so much that needs to be done that I think all of us are frustrated that we fight each other rather then engaging the wider public on issue that mean something.