“Holy Water” – Tricia Kyser

“Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.” – John Muir

And yet there she lies, this holy virgin valley,

Overcome beneath ravaging waters.

A hidden cathedral, a hallowed ground

Where rushing rivers once made aisles to altars of sacred stone reaching for God,

Where sacred music once soared into the heavens on the voices of birds.


Listen for the flush of toilets,

Listen to the rush of faucets,

Listen to the clink of glasses half full and recklessly tossed aside,

Water steeped in this sacred valley,

Water freely flowing just for you.


Taste the meadow’s music in your morning espresso,

Taste the incense of the cedar brewed into your craft beers,

Taste the valley,

This blood she offers to you.

Her consecrated wine fills your commodes and washes your underwear


Absolving the city smog from your streetcars,

Absolving the industries from their toxic waste,

Again and again absolving with this holy water

Pouring out into asphalt aisles to altars of skyscrapers reaching,

But not for God.


Resurrecting your withering balcony plants in small dried up pots,

Resurrecting your dogs’ bodies,

Resurrecting your body

With the divine blood of this valley.

Take this holy communion.

Take and drink in remembrance of her.

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