A few years ago I wrote a series of poems around the theme of events that occurred in the year 1948. I have never shared them until now.

You may be through with the past, but the past may not be through with you.” – Magnolia

Dust bowl drought victims (migratory far

When The Clouds Wouldn’t Cry

Back in ’48 the war was long over but the rain stayed away

Okies still migrated the endless 66 to pick fruit and pray

troubles were a plenty and the wilted crops dry

fierce winds blew the Santa Anas but the clouds wouldn’t cry

up in Merced County the thirsty cattle and sheep moaned for rain

wishing the dark clouds and wet showers would soon come again

hollow canyons burned freely and threatened the cities and the towns

farmers drank in bars and there the troubles they did drown

fruit growers were urged to “thin down the crop”

truckers on the highway dodged the cracks in the black top

wells were mighty low and the rates kept on higher

gardeners in Beverly Hills sprayed hoses as the lawns just got dryer

“you don’t miss the water ‘all the well goes dry”

said the wise old dairymen as their wives began to cry

conserve! conserve! conserve! the many headlines screamed

one day the water will flow freely, every Californian dreamed

but for now and for a spell this truth did self apply

“48 was a time when the damn clouds wouldn’t cry





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