The Earth Is Already Dammed

by Robert Priest

O why are the salmon runs ruined
And the mighty deltas parched and dry

Because the earth is already dammed

Why is the Amu Darya withered
And the wetlands shrunk to sterile salt flats

Because this earth is constantly dammed

Why do the sand hill cranes tremble
On their long legs
Landing nowhere after nowhere
In diminishing migrations
Why do those liquid slaves the rivers
Stand still in their chains
Stripped of their old ways
Never to spill free again upon the land

Because the whole earth is repeatedly dammed

Dammed for power
Dammed just to make work

Every river across the globe
Locked, blocked toxic

It is time to stop
The constant damming of the earth

Free the great currents, unleash
The torrents of the Nile on a thousand miles

Of thirst, let the whorling eddies of the held back Platte
Revivify the wetlands

Re-circulate the stacked sediments
Bring back the hatcheries

The green thatch of cottonwood
Upon arid banks

I want to hear the rush and hush
Of free green water

Restored to ancient circuits
I want to see the earth de-cursed

Its rivers resurrected
The damages reversed

I want a free-flowing re-blessed world
I want people to stop damming this planet