On the North Shore of the Salton Sea
the children have asthma.
They carry inhalers.
Their parents work land
they do not own
by the largest lake in California,
once flood plain of the Colorado River,
now a place where, year after year,
pesticide and fertilizer wash down.
Fish are choked by algae blooms
from nitrates and phosphates.
Poisoned in the pause of migration
are egrets and herons,
gulls, white pelicans and terns.
Bees die in the hives,
while children are sent home
from school when the dust blows.
This is the water of death
I happen to know,
but there are so many more,
as well as death by dry.
It is no wonder we begin
with John’s call for repentance,
and a confession of sin.
Jesus would not recognize the words –
but he began
by going in over his head.
(Some material from Sierra Club Magazine, Vol 103.No.1)