The Art of the Drought

By Catherine Rankovic

January 25, 2016

The Art of the Drought

The art of the drought is to reduce all things to their outlines. Leaves fall. Plants skeletonize. Dry outlines of worms and lizards, victims of the heat, are marked on the asphalt. 

The meadow is empty of animal life. Day by day and night by night the doe and her two babies, the turkey hen, the turtles, the coyote, the bluebirds, the finches, the rabbits, the snakes, even the raccoons?all moved westward, downhill, closer to the creek, where they subsist on an outline of water not an inch deep, bristled like a hairbrush with the only green grass within sight. In fact I hardly remember them. My memory seems to have run dry. At times this makes me feel frantic; at other times, meek. There is nothing anyone can do. 

There is this invisible and constant musical theme, the oscillating and haywire sound of locusts. 

People go a little mad. On the concrete bridge, for the first time in memory, someone has spray-painted graffiti, done in the angular, urban style. Outlined in red, it says--of all things--Live Life. 


Photo: "Cracked Lake" provided by Terry Shuck via Flickr's Creative Commons license.

Comments (2) - Post a Comment
Jan Priddy at 9:31am EST - January 25, 2016
At Riverlands and Bush Wild Life I've seen wetlands dried out and acres of wide cracksm in mud, like earthquakes, often with dead fish dried to parchment. Your wonderful piece brought it all back to me.
Tim Leach at 1:31pm EST - January 25, 2016

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