Those sweet Pacific blues
made me take fertile
for granted,

thinking that green
would just be there
and it seemed
even the eucalyptus
felt a bit unique,
stolen of, standing out in
its starkly brown bare bark.

For a time,
everything was whole
growing out into itself:
live oaks and Kentucky grasses
and we were all going on forever
somehow;

for years it seemed like some kind Heaven
favored us in those paradise days.
how I took them for granted,
how I felt protected and enhanced,
how it rounded out my wheezes,
how it was classical beauty,
solid in that clear light.

But dirt oozed in with McCarthy, Strontium-90
and the bombing bomb teething death.
Contaminations in the air.
A damnation took over the earth damnedly.
New smoke and blights and fires. The air soot crazy.
Oil wells leaking dredge. The balance tilted.
And we paradise kids went deep sea fishing for more,
catching the most wonderful people:
Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, Malvina Reynolds, Paul Robson, Joan Baez,
all with hope in their arts
that we might live
in camaraderie with the stars’ light
as bright as the sequoias ranged high.

It is we rebels who must lust after our land,
lust without greed,
lust ever for change
to cleanse the world, scourge its filths
with our Pacific-blue kindness.

© 2019, Linda Chown

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