Try to Save the Fresno Bluffs and San Juaquin
River Bottom from the Land Developers Poem

by C.W. Moulton

it you can't get it through the eye of a needle,
don't put it there, and if you do you'll be
a lot deeper in the almighty wrath sooner
than you suckers think.

Man's integrity, intelligence, and performance
are based in a wilderness of unvarying natural
                                           Black Elk

When I was a kid
I went out to Scout Island because I wanted to
find out, and now I don't want to be guided
into difficulties by lawyers of land developers.
I want to be guided by reliable blue herons
standing in the spirit of the San Juaquin river bluffs.
I want to be guided along the bluffs by doves that coo.
I want to be able to get off a bike and sit down somewhere
leaving the highway bridge behind like a graveyard
and watch bunting and little green towhee zip freely
back and forth across the river from tree to tree,
reed to reed like skillful reconciliations.
It occurs to me that the land developers
are not as shrewd as the hawk in the sycamore.
It occurs to me that the fresh water clams
paying attention to business at the bottom of the river
have a better sense of preservation and groping
than that which has emerged wishing to tear the place
                apart and litter.
It comes to me that it took this river 2,000,000 years to
carve this composition that molds and remolds the lives
of hundreds of species of animals, and if I had a dollar
for every year and animal that lives here I could call
the bank and bulldozer and cut into its brow
and make 2 or 3 million more putting in tract houses
egotistically spaced apart.  It occurs to me
that a timid, greedy child grown old could pick up a rock
and throw his conscience into the river;
and the kit fox, if the kit fox had hands,
he could go through the night and strangle
the land developers as they sleep in their beds.
A violent act commited by a kit fox in good taste.

                    (January '79)

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