in the Rio Grande gorge, cottonwoods conspired with Russian Olives
pulled as much water out of the river before it merges with the Red.
Those pesky humans dumped chemicals,
nitrate laden water,
agricultural runoff and top soil in their river.
They stopped it.
The trees conspired to change the flow of the river,
stored it up in new lakes,
had a highway of deer teamsters
carry the water down to the cottonwoods and Russian Olives
in small quantities and bottles
and not let anyone else have it.
in the depths of Elephant Butte, bass conspired with trout.
They tired of Jet Skis, tow boats,
water skiers and tubers,
top water lures and crank bait,
casual swimmers, three day weekend barbeques,
The fish nibbled toes,
dragged innocent children down to the depths,
stuffed and mounted
them on water made walls.
in the Rio Grande Bosque, cranes conspired with ducks.
They turned on dogs,
horseback riders, and joggers.
The cranes ignored the grain that BLM rangers left behind,
posted memos and trail signs,
organized field trips,
and erected educational walks for viewing:
and the elderly.
in El Paso, Texas and New Mexico water managers conspired to take more of the Rio water away from human farmers, pueblo communities, and the desert. If the courts can mediate a settlement, Albuquerque can sprawl even more; El Paso can grow even larger; and the natural communities and habitats that depend on the Rio can fend
Deeds are written; titles notarized for water, a naturally occurring chemical compound.Don is a former member of the ABQ slam team, a host/producer of KUNM’s Spoken Word Hour, the author of The Noisy Pen, and editor of A Bigger Boat: The Unlikely Success of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Scene. He’s performed all over the United States, produced, curated, and hosted poetry events big and small including the 2005 National Poetry Slam, and been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. He's a teacher by trade at Central NewMexico Community College, where he also manages the tutoring center. For more information on Don, please visit his writing blog, Confessions a Human Nerve Ending.