“I need water,” said the duck.

“I need water,” said the duck.
“Me, too,” said the fish.
“I must have water,” said the man.

Tule Lake dries and cracks.
South Klamath Lake? Well . . . it was.
Flyway for Pacific waterbirds?

Money for the farmer, the fish, and the duck.
Money doesn’t make water.
Sadly true.

Farther south, California’s Central Valley dries.
Away goes nectarines, avocadoes, and lettuce.
South Klamath and Tule Lakes too.
Away goes the duck, the fish, and the man.
Sadly true.

Bigger than they (duck, fish, and man)
is this hot, unfathomable, unstoppable thing
they call global warming.

That’s a lie.
They is the man, and the man knows.
Truly he knew and knows,
and he could have done, and he can do,
but he didn’t and doesn’t.

The duck, the fish—
they don’t fathom, nor can they stop.
They will die, no lie—
maybe the man too.
Who can fathom?

“I need water,” said the duck.
“Me too,” said the fish.
“I must have water,” said the man.
     — MRM

Some notes on men, ducks, and fish of the Klamath Basin:

“The KPDRA [Klamath Project Drought Response Agency] funding is specifically for landowners or producers who have not received a drop of water since Nov. 1, 2020, according to Mark Johnson, deputy director of the Klamath Water Users Association.”
     — source: Joe Siess (H&N Staff Reporter), “Drought relief funding available for local producers and landowners,” Herald&News [Klamath County newspaper], 3 July 2021, A1 and A9, Print.

“Historically, the Klamath Basin was dominated by approximately 185,000 acres of shallow lakes and freshwater marshes. These extensive wetlands attracted peak concentrations of over 6 million waterfowl and supported abundant populations of other waterbirds . . .”
     “In 1905, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation initiated the Klamath Reclamation Project to convert the lakes and marshes of the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake areas to agricultural lands . . . . Today, less than 25 percent of the historic wetlands remain.” [As of the 2016 publication of this brochure.]
     “To conserve much of the basin’s remaining wetland habitat, six National Wildlife Refuges have been established: Lower Klamath, Tule Lake, and Clear Lake Refuges in northern California, and Bear Valley, Upper Klamath, and Klamath Marsh Refuges in southern Oregon.”
“Klamath Basin Refuges . . . serve as migratory stopover for about three-quarters of the Pacific Flyway waterfowl, with peak concentrations of over one million birds.”
     — source: Brochure, “Klamath Basin: National Wildlife Refuges,” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, April 2016.

Alexandra Feller (Herald and News), “Wells run dry in many Klamath Basin homes,” The Oregonian, 7 Jul 2021, Web, https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2021/07/wells-run-dry-in-many-klamath-basin-homes.html

     — source: Erik Neuman, “Drought Has Pitted Farmers Against Native Tribes Protecting Endangered Fish,” NPR, 29 June 2021, Web, https://www.npr.org/2021/06/29/1011415106/drought-has-pitted-farmers-against-native-tribes-protecting-endangered-fish

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