headdesk

Found while reading the Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

“Siting renewable energy only on private land would not provide balance or flexibility in siting renewable energy development because there is limited private land throughout the DRECP Planning Area and the private land does not always correlate with areas with the highest energy resource values. In some instances, development on private land would not align with existing transmission corridors. Meeting statewide and federal renewable energy goals within the DRECP planning area boundary exclusively on private lands would result in substantial conflicts with current and proposed land uses on private lands. Some counties expressed concern that development of renewable energy on private land could impact county land-use programs and controls, and could negatively affect local economies, county resources, local character, jobs, property tax revenue, agriculture, and recreation and historical resources (County of Riverside 2011a, DRECP 2011a). Private lands that were not incorporated into the analyzed alternatives have high biological resource conflicts and do not align with DRECP purpose and need. For these reasons, the Private and Previously Disturbed Lands Alternative was not retained.”

headdesk

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What she asked; what I did not say

thin dark hand on mine
nails tracing tendons
she looked up.
“Why do you like me?”

my heart a well,
dark bottom unseen.
sounds of tossed pebbles fade
long before they might surface.

now a swift red-tail hawk
stripes the bottomless blue sky.
her eyes scan each rock
shining brilliant dark brown.

I would stand with her
I would stand with her
I would stand with her
and fill this void with stones.

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Heartbreak and Ivanpah; Ivanpah and heartbreak

Sometimes, reflected glory burns too bright.
Sometimes, your feathery integument
ignites, and all that’s left: the earth approaching
stony swift. Decisions loom, and sad ones;
stay the course you set despite the certainty
of impact? Veer away from the bright light
that’s tempted you this far? There’s no real hope
of happy endings here. All that remains:
the strain of scorched, dis-feathered wing against
the unforgiving air, inevitable
contact with the earth, gorge-rising fear,
while those below you on the distant ground
see nothing but a bright, leisurely arc
and slow, and blinding white against the blue
and desert sky, almost ethereal
in your terminal agony; a wing
turned meteor, and all your nesting hopes
however long postponed, fall fluttering
as useless ash onto the desert stones.

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Poem with one vowel

Edge effects
Glee! The deep freeze recedes.
Even the bejeweled bees, ever kept penned,
Greet the respected beekeeper.
These stretched present vessels, these feeble knees, 
These leveled, dependent legs,
End the secret sense the experts set,
The present red-dressed regret.
Yes, pen the letters. Send them west, 
Let sweet green verses rest well there.
Let them needle-test the chest-nerves’ senses.

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Chris reading in Joshua Tree: Save The Date

I’ll be reading some essays and some poetry on Saturday, September 20 at 6:00 at the Radio Free Joshua Tree Listening Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Highway in Beautiful Downtown Joshua Tree. Admission is a few dollars tossed into the hat to keep Radio Free Joshua Tree and the Listening Lounge going, but no one will be turned away etc. etc..

More details are here.

This is the first time I’ll have read in public in six years, which makes this event an important collectible. I’ll try to arrange to have some copies of the Zeke book for sale and signing as well. Hope to see you there.

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Bump me with your plastron, you sexy Threatened thing you.

Making new desert tortoises in Joshua Tree.

Interstate 5 near Lost Hills. Photo by Annette Rojas

Fencepost hawks

Interstate 5 near Lost Hills. Photo by Annette Rojas

Interstate 5 near Lost Hills. Photo by Annette Rojas

I drove twelve hundred fifty miles this weekend, a quick trip to Oakland and then back again. Our anniversary. Six years.

From 1990 through 1998 I lived with my ex-wife and Zeke in an apartment not far from downtown Oakland. It was the longest span of time I have ever spent with one address. Annette and I stayed a few blocks away this weekend. Awoken Saturday by the sound of distant trains, the smell of trees, I remembered oddly that I woke that way every single day for eight years. Wondered how I could ever have forgotten.

Back then I drove that same route, more or less, on desperate trips to forsake Oakland for the Mojave. Interstate 5 through the San Joaquin Valley was a gauntlet to be run, and I breathed deeply only after dropping down the far side of Tehachapi Pass into the gloaming desert.

After a few trips I began to find things to value before the desert. Place names: Ortigalita Creek and Crows Landing. The cats’ paws of wind in green oat stems. As years passed and the spread of almond orchards swelled, February would fill the valley with vivid pink blossoms. Along the west verge of the highway, red-tailed hawks stood watch on rough fence posts, one hawk to the mile or more.

The suburbs have filled the valley. They strain against the freeway. They will soon break past it and run rampant through the Coast Ranges.

I saw not a single red-tailed hawk this weekend in more than 1,250 miles of driving.

There have been other losses since last I drove that way. A majestic old Joshua at roadside just east of Kramer Junction has gone missing. And so, it would seem, has this:

Outside North Edwards

Outside North Edwards

There are a hundred thousand blinking red lights outside Mojave now: the wind that stole at least three of my perfectly good hats has been broken to wheel, and turbine blades reflect the scarlet aircraft warning lights.

But it is the loss of those fencepost hawks that hurts today. In their stead, a thousand signs blame liberals for the drought.