To: Inyo County Planning Commission





Wrong Side of the Highway


Over here you got your Sierra Nevada

Big mountains

forests    leapin streams

meadows choked with wildflowers

Very pretty

We dont want no ugly

large scale mucho megawatt

power projects over here


Over there

on the other side of the highway

is a different story

Nothin but desert

scrubby plants

turnin all black

from lack of water

Nothin but sand

a few useless critters

broken down buildings

and a bunch of no account people

livin where nobody got no business

Nothin but open spaces

bare rock ranges

night skies brimmin over

with the light of galaxies


Go ahead    scrape it all away

plant them shiny things lookin up

into the big blue sky

So what if a few birds get fried

and the tortoises have to be moved

once again to someplace outside

the military industrial wasteland


Never mind them visitors

who come from all over the world

in search of empty spaces

old ghost towns

in the middle of nowhere

traces of the First People

and wonderment

at how they survived


When the business dies down

cause theres nothin left to see

away from the lights

and the industry

When the cities have finally

come to their senses

and learned to conserve

and make what they need

on their own rooftops

When the hot wind blows

across the desert sands

a hundred    maybe fifty years

from now

Nothin left

on the wrong side of the highway

but silent monoliths

surrounded by congregations

of cracked mirrors

Swarms of derelict panels

encrusted with alkaline dust

Regiments of towers

battered by wind

their blades lyin crumpled

at their feet

No bushes

no birds

no critters scurryin for cover

no vast reaches of natural land

all gone

parched and lifeless

Nothin to see

from the high eastern slopes

of the valuable Sierra

but the ruins

of an industrial renewable

sacrifice zone


Kathy Goss

Darwin , CA



2 Responses

  1. Karlovy Vary
    Karlovy Vary

    Kathy Goss, your poem is stellar, imbued as it is with powerful descriptions of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Thank you for bringing art into this mix. Your words impacted me viscerally. What does everyone else think?

  2. Judyth Greenburgh

    As a fellow resident of this threatened area, this make me want to cry, your poem sums it all up perfectly. Hiding ones dirty laundry in someone else’s back yard, is a form of lack of accountability of one’s own actions as if- if you don’t see the effect of over consumption it will not effect you. Well, we are an eco SYSTEM meaning everything is connected. What goes around comes around. The earth is circular and it will catch up with everyone on the planet however fast one runs.
    This is a chance for this mindset to change, just put the panels in industrial areas already devastated by Man – why soil a new one?


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