I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said "I have seen the work of man:
Vast with pumps, dams, and machines;
Covered with pictures of fruit-and-nut dreams.
I saw a land stretched into dust,
Where men had labored and planted with trust.
They said the water would always be there,
Sucked from ground, chopped from river, pulled from air.
That water, abundant, was spent on crops
Taken far away, save occasional drops.
It took a century to replace Nature's share
With dead engines, cracked cement and dusty air.
The poor lost jobs, the rich drained pools;
The fish were already dead, sacrificed by fools.
I traveled the world but found none to care;
California killed itself, somewhere over there."
Inspired by this New Yorker piece, "Paradise Burning": "Mother Nature is teaching us a lesson. Whenever you have an abundance, don't spoil it."