(Upon crossing the Colorado River)
Your fiscal mess, your taxes, your repossessed homes;
Your Governator, your initiatives and your political schemes;
Your freeways and traffic and drivers yearning to speed;
Your 36 million people and all that they want;
Your deserts, your mountains and valleys and rivers, your dams;
Your stunning weather, your drought and your thirst;
Your condors and salmon and spotted owls, your smog and wildfires;
Your ports, your cities, your suburbs flung every which way;
Your towns: Beverly Hills, Oakland, Weed, and Shafter; Berkeley, Compton, Taft, and Fort Bragg;
Your prisons and prisoners, your guards, your cops;
Your students, your teachers, your school segregation;
Your sunshine and field workers and endless farms;
Your agribusiness, your entrepreneurs, your next big things;
Your visionary schemes and your reluctance to pay.
The limitless dream, the busboy, the kid who can’t read;
The redwood, the dead mill, the air you can’t breathe;
The surf, the oil spill, the guy asleep on the street;
A million reasons to stay and a million to leave.
On the prairie and over the mountains I roam;
Crossing the Colorado, California, I’m home.