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What Once Was the Valley


Two million years ago,
Ice glaciers cut fresh water where salt water once rested upon the barren earth
Filled and drained this great valley leaving behind God’s most fertile dirt

Brewed from the dust and stewed from the silky alluvial soil
Vines grew wide where poverty left idle minds to wilt through roots and toil

In this land, where the indigenous tribes
no longer roam free to dance and play their native drum
For long past the time -where the Merchants drive for the imperial prize had set sail to come

And brought with them from a faraway land - the people with burnt faces
Who were dragged from their homes across the sand
before the steeple of these torrid places

Where the ash tree in the ancient village had soon come to grow
the self-loathing absurdity the center of the Valley had succumb to know
To be melted from the peaks of the Sierra and buried just beneath the snow

At the tabled mountain that stands above the river that once ran with the salmon
From the San Joaquin estuary’s to touch the Black stones of the kings canyon

because the salmon no longer swim past the mansions that commandeered the rivers shores
and the coyote doesn’t recognize the land of his ancestors anymore

Still but yet
the most beautiful parts of the village may never be seen by those who live south of Shaw
Too exclusively privatized, by the tide of segregated apartheid and de-facto law

Once they build an estate along the river,
Where the 17th hole is some investment bankers back porch
And I’ve seen refrigerated water fountains outside at the San Joaquin Country Club's golf course

When clean water doesn’t even run from the fountain at King Elementary
It’s filtered past the mass as society favors those who are from the cast of the landed gentry

And deny all others entry and access under tenuous justification
For how can one percent of the people control the Wealth of a nation?
While the rest of the population lives from one pay check to the next one
And the gathering at the top of the pyramid might not be the best one

But without countenance,
the industrialists pour the concrete and uproot the fig in the garden by the village
For what used to be the peoples provisions is now foraged for the capitalist to pillage
And they forget about the rest of people in the village

And the settlement is set in ablaze, just a haze of anger and confusion
Infused platitudes to soothe the mood of the multitudes is a dangerous solution

In this land where hope is fragile and prosperity is dwindling
And the gangs call out at the moon to rally the descendants of midnight’s children

And the winds carry the howls that humidify into the weather
Where faith is easily lost and despair is stuck around forever

You see, I wanna be free in the valley to feed my family,
Enjoy some leisure time and taste the juice from a mango
I wanna roam the land of my ancestry and be unchained in the fields like Django

But It’s not enough to untangle, the credulity of those who become spiteful,
Even at the opportunities that might change ones cast in life
And everything that they believe to be what’s wrong with humanity, is really what’s right

Yet we can’t churn the Tally
Or turn the valley back to the days where the multitude was just a crowd
And we may never hear the rush of the river
Because the gun shots in the ghettos are just too loud

And now, its sits upon a pile where the flood waters washed away the trials of the past
Cuz the water dried up in the valley and prosperity was swept away just way too fast

But - it will return to us alas
and we will create a new tribe Of cultures from around the world
Who believe in freedom and democracy
And make not popular those who might profit from greed and hypocrisy

To tear down the corporatocracy, that has painted green the tenement halls of man
For we will wash away the stain of indifference and become the Valley’s tribe once again


-- Jason B., Adult