It’s Not The Same River by Lew Rosenbaum
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus, 535-475 BCE
“We are all related” – Lakota prayer
Ninety-six percent of water on earth is saline.
The water swimming in my cells,
The water that bathes my cells,
The water coursing in my bloodstream,
All of it is saline.
We cannot drink salt water.
Aquifers make up thirty percent of the four percent that is fresh water.
Lying deep beneath the arid desert,
Beneath the flat Midwestern plains,
Beneath the big-sky buttes of Montana,
Beneath the putrid oil wells of the Texas panhandle.
California almonds drink this water when people cannot.
Nestlé bottles what the people may not drink.
The amount of water used to supply the world’s golf courses
Is the same as the amount that could supply all the world’s people.
Japan had 23 golf courses before World War II.
They found their error
And built three thousand courses.
Lake Huron is the third largest fresh water lake on earth.
Flint, Michigan, lying near the shores of Lake Huron,
Started using Flint River water instead.
(It takes its name from the Ojibwe language, when the river ran pure).
But river water flowed past the industrial factories
That built Flint, and discharged chemical waste
Turning clear water a muddy brown,
Infected with retch-inducing odors,
Cancer-causing chemicals and corrosive salts
That leached lead from the pipes in lethal doses.
When people showered,
Water brought rashes and pain to their bleeding skin.
Sixty percent of the human body is water.
We humans need water more than we need food.
Why do capitalist private profiteers get to drain our aquifers?
Flint is a lesson and a call to wake up.
No one can make the babies come back,
But we can have clean, free water for all
By ending the rule of private property
That protects golf courses and
Preys upon the lives of our people.
We are all related.