hetch hetchy haiku 2016

Many thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to our winners, Gabriel Sheridan, Devin Rogers, Neal Whitman and Jennifer Fosgate.

Our judges, Malcolm Margolin, Barbara Mossberg and Pamela Michael, selected these five winning haikus:


What is the worth of

Some granite cliffs and oak trees?

Let's drain it and see

                                          Devin Rogers


Tell-tale bathtub ring

A sign of poor housekeeping

Let us use “scrub" brush

                                             Neal Whitman


Under deep water

The Tuolumne still flows

Crying for the sun

                                                   Jennifer Fosgate


The water is deep

Where are my trees and wild wind

I am Hetch Hetchy

                                                     Gabriel Sheridan


The Harlequins bloom

Along the Hetch Hetchy road

They see the sadness

                                                      Jennifer Fosgate


 And here are the rest. Let us know if any of them tickle your fancy.


What was Hetch Hetchy?

A glacier, a valley, home.

Animals miss it.





Basho and Buson

two crows perched on a pine branch

nod in approval


Neal Whitman


Valley deep, bleeding

Another chance at being

Hetch Hetchy healing


 Rosette Dawson



tell-tale bathtub ring

a sign of poor housekeeping

let us use “scrub" brush


Neal Whitman


Our oaken grasslands

Sighed freely in Hetch Hetchy

A valley now silenced





scarred skin

can be skillfully restored

placid surgery


Neal Whitman


Heaven and Earth meet

The river of life must flow

Nature's gift is shown






yes, a crayon in my box

I sign up to help


Neal Whitman


Beauty beyond compare

Long live the Hetch Hetchy land

Never touched by mortal hand





to stand waist-deep

in wild grass and flowers

possible dream


Neal Whitman


Was John Muir correct?

Is Hetch Hetchy beautiful?

Will we ever know?





who invented

the rectangular grid?

not raccoons


Neal Whitman


Was Ansel correct?

Is Hetch Hetchy beautiful?

Will we ever know?





Time is running out

slams the door and hits the road

slaps off the dust


Neal Whitman


In timeless meadow,

Tuolumne best reveals

Muir's reflection.





roots, trunks, limbs

we are bedded in the ground

time to rise


Neal Whitman


the karma dam cries

Yosemite's silent twin

one hundred ten dead





some people

prefer a garden path

others wilderness


Neal Whitman


Everything is created

from water, the color of

her eyes, pollen hemp...





blue dicks

never to fade, shrink, or wrinkle

cascading water


Neal Whitman


LA’s water source

Inundated for cold cash

Restore Hetch Hetchy





can you see it?

dogwoods at dusk

still glowing


Neal Whitman


Our spirits soar

Restored valley awakens

Nature heals home






dangling their feet

river run


Neal Whitman


Hydraulic hubris hides

Hetch Hetchy's heavenly heart

Honor healing hope





experts are said

to “cover the ground”

let’s uncover it


Neal Whitman


Unveil its beauty

Onto us the valley floor

Hear John Muir's Lament





snap judgment

the power of knowledge

an apple falls


Neal Whitman


Water down mountain

Wants to flow unimpeded

With Spreck’s help, it will.


David Roe



From depths of despair

A gem once lost reappears

Hetch Hetchy reborn




Muir would want water

To have run unimpeded,

Not stopped by man’s dam.


David Roe



Mistakes from our past

Kindly grace me with beauty.

I behold. I learn.




Greedy city drinks

By interrupting Nature;

But doesn’t need to.


David Roe



Water, precious life

Keeps us alive, keep us clean

No need for B.O.




Between the raindrops the spirits call,

Tueeulala, Kolana, Wapama the falls.

The Deer, the Coyotes and the mighty Black Bar,

Await the end of John Muirs nightmare.

In 1913 Raker came, and took our valley

without any shame.

The Tuolumne is buried in a watery grave,

not a single tree was saved.

the time has come to be reborn,

with the dawning of a new summers morn.

Between the raindrops the spirits call,

Tueeulala, Kolana, Wapama the falls.

The Deer, the Coyotes and the mighty Black Bar,

Await the end of John Muirs nightmare



The valley revealed

Sun rises and water falls

Scented meadows grow


Patty Johnson


what is the worth of

some granite cliffs and oak trees?

let's drain it and see


Devin Rogers



Hetch Hetchy Valley

Our Still Engulfed Cathedral

Awaiting Rebirth




no holier temple

this valley of forgotten

awe, not forgotten


Devin Rogers



Granite walled haven

Drowning under dammed waters

Awaits revival


Dave Takaki


Hetch Hetchy Valley

Was, 100 years ago,

Nature’s gift to all



Speak to me dear valley

Under fathoms of water

‘Yes, time heals all wounds’.


Enough is enough

Take time to think through it all

What a disaster!



Yosemite whole

Dam Hetch Hetchy Congress did

Yosemite not


Not so John Muir found

Dam and reservoir were built

Peaceful landscape gone



A destroyed temple

Valley of earthly delights

Raise up Hetch Hetchy


Undo the damage

Bring back the beauty, the peace

Restore Hetch Hetchy



Meadow pool reflects

Granite soaring, sunsplashed grass

John Muir smiles


Add 100 years

The magnificent valley

Still underwater



Glacial polish shines

Old shoreline mark is fading

Lupine scent and pine







Hetch Hetchy is gone

So let's try to bring it back

Let's work and work hard


Beauty underneath

Water’s unnatural weight

Waiting for release



To take down the dam

again we'll have animals

and maybe plants too


Dawn awaits for you

Sleep Hetch Hetchy 'neth water

Gates will open soon


Gabriel Sheridan



To take down the dam

again we'll have animals

and maybe plants too




Awake Hetch Hetchy

Resplendant dawn is coming

Breathe trees falls river


Gabriel Sheridan



You stole my beauty

I was once so lush and green

Restore my valley




Burst forth you gray walls

Your deliverance at last

Hetch Hetchy lives


Gabriel Sheridan



Bring us back our home

for those who still remember

we are connected




The water is deep

Where are my trees and wild wind

I am Hetch Hetchy

  Gabriel Sheridan



you have been well blessed

with an opportunity

not a piece of work



I would like to walk in the valley

As it was created

With flower and fox

Time pre hydrated





preserving river

ripples of laughter today

safe for tomorrow






Wapama Rancheria

Never one drop lost



Joy natures lovesong

Children wildlife everyone

Life, nature's savior


Here, water kills Life.

A Valley below awaits

Its rebirth of green.


Jan Le Pouvoir



Save me from my death

it won't do you any good

I am begging, help!




Hetch Hetchy calls out

For its birthright of freedom.

Rise. Awaken Her.


Jan Le Pouvoir



The world needs me back

I hope you listen to me

I am begging please




Anna’s Hummingbird

Pocket Gopher, Clarkia

Black Oak, White Fir live.


Jan Le Pouvoir



Keep John Muir in mind

He never wanted this dam

Make his dreams come true




John’s Valley, his Heart,

A Tuolumne flowing:

Strength for their return.


Jan Le Pouvoir



Once was a valley

But taken from it is beauty

Give back what you took




A kid never knew

About the water she drank.

Now adult, she’s wise.


Jan Le Pouvoir



Go find different land

Go find some different water

Protect Hetch Hetchy




bad date

trying notto stare too long

at my beer bottle



Please help the valley

Help us preserve the valley

Help us right now


Sorrowful Tears A Valley Flooded

Where Once Joyful Tears As A River Flowed

Joyful Tears Will Flow Again



Used to be pretty

Please help us take out the dam

Appreciate it


Our Bay Area Friends Need the Tuolumne River
We All Need Hetch Hetchy Valley
Let Us Store the Tuolumne Beyond Hetch Hetchy



Restore Hetch Hetchy

You have stolen our beauty

Restore our beauty


With Sorrowful Tears Hetch Hetchy Was Flooded
Where Once Joyful Tears As A River Flowed
Joyful Tears Will Flow In Hetch Hetchy Again



Hetch hetchy valley

Used to be so beautiful

But now is ruined


Crossing the divide

Stomach tight at sight I see



Jennifer Fosgate



They destroyed the the scene

Ruining it forever

And for everyone


Melting stream of snow

Wapama falls to its death

From rock face above


Jennifer Fosgate




Old valley wisdom

survives our inundation,

waiting for release.


The Harlequins bloom

Along the Hetch Hetchy road

They see the sadness


Jennifer Fosgate



Hetch Hetchy, lost friend
Who repeals your liquid tomb
unveil great spirit


My footsteps take me

Across concrete out of place

Sad Kolana weeps


Jennifer Fosgate



Sun striking dry cliffs
Hetch Hetchy will warm again
Grass, flora, birds return


Above sweet mist falls

Happy Tueeulala

Below submerged rock


Jennifer Fosgate



Drain the water now
Hetch Hetchy gets full breath soon
Make alive again


First time I see it

Yosemite's drown valley

The ache is still there


Jennifer Fosgate



Hetch Hetchy - renew

So justice flows like rivers

Let the meadows bloom


Roger L. Stoughton


Busy with people

Yosemite summer day

Hetch Hetchy so quiet


Jennifer Fosgate



Tuolumne water

belongs to San Francisco,

Hetch Hetchy to all.




Under deep water

The Tuolumne still flows

Crying for the sun


Jennifer Fosgate



Keep drinking water,

store outside the national park,

restore Hetch Hetchy.




How could this happen?

Granite valley water clear

The Hetch Hetchy lost


Jennifer Fosgate



Imagine yourself in

Hetch Hetchy, standing waist deep

in grass and flowers.


 John Muir via Roger Williams


Yosemite's twin

This valley makes my heart sing

But a dam brings tears


Jennifer Fosgate



Erase the dam mistake

A glacier-carved valley

awaits its rebirth


 Rosemary Wilvert


Tuolumne's water

Dark over the drowned valley

Clear below the dam


Jennifer Fosgate



Wanderers again feel

the glacier-carved valley

Paiutes named for wind in the grass


 Rosemary Wilvert


The river laughing

Below O'Shaughnessy

Free at last to flow


Jennifer Fosgate



The window narrows

on a shrinking world

One wild place returns


 Rosemary Wilvert


The pens of Congress

Their ink is dark flood waters

Hetch Hetchy can't breathe


Jennifer Fosgate



An epochal fortune —

to visit

a paradise regained


 Rosemary Wilvert


Our Yosemite

What if there was another?

Look under water


Jennifer Fosgate



The Tuolumne

finds its path again

through wildflowers


 Rosemary Wilvert


Wapama's waters

Wash me as I cross the bridge

They cleanse the sadness


Jennifer Fosgate



Birds and bears and

squirrels reseed the meadows

Lichens repaint the ring


 Rosemary Wilvert


Drive to Hetch Hetchy

A traffic jam will never be

This paradise lost


Jennifer Fosgate



Wapama thunders thanks —

free to tumble again

to the valley floor


 Rosemary Wilvert


Let us right this wrong

See the river flowing free

Hetch Hetchy Valley


Jennifer Fosgate



What fun to watch grasses

trees and deer

tiptoe into a virgin valley


 Rosemary Wilvert



The reservoir drinks your tears

Stop this sadness now


Jennifer Fosgate



Not one drop of water lost

Hey San Francisco

what’s not to like?


 Rosemary Wilvert


A postcard request

Kolana and Wapama?

There are none to buy


Jennifer Fosgate



Leave the breached dam

as a monument

to arrogance


 Rosemary Wilvert


Great joy yet sorrow

This was Hetch Hetchy Valley

A damaged beauty


Jennifer Fosgate



We can’t wait

another century

to say we’re sorry


 Rosemary Wilvert


Lake you cannot swim

Valley floor you cannot walk

Hetch Hetchy problems


Jennifer Fosgate



No mistake

is too set in concrete

to rethink


 Rosemary Wilvert


We the people stand

On a dam made of concrete

While Hetch Hetchy drowns


Jennifer Fosgate



Valley deep, bleeding

Another chance at being

Hetch Hetchy healing




Hetch Hetchy Valley,

Hidden from our children's eyes

Be reborn today!


Jenise Cook



RHH presents

a literary challenge.

Eight entries attached.




The Tuolumne

Yosemite calls to us:

Please let me go free!


Jim Bearden



Hetch Hetchy Valley:

“A precious mountain temple”

said the wise John Muir.




John Muir said it best:

As well dam for water tanks

The people's churches!


Jim Bearden



Majestic valley

spoiled by ignorance and greed.

Restoration overdue.




little Poopenaut

and, above, great Hetch Hetchy

link again your hands



The reservoir is

but a drowned river valley.

Time for CPR.


Fixed: rough made smooth:

boulders dam, we see,

we do too; but years pass:

smooth made rough



If you mean the source

of San Francisco’s water,

don’t say “Hetch Hetchy.”



Muir's tears on temple

rocks fell, abluted, submerged.

Unless, a rain drop



Hetchy’s not the source

of SF’s drinking water;

it’s the snow, stupid.


rough made smooth:

boulders dam, we see, we do too;

but ages pass: smooth made rough



Knock-knock.  Who’s there?  Dwain.

Dwain who?  Dwain the big bathtub;

Hetch Hetchy’s dwowning.


unfilled by glacier

by man filled, a songless stream

a waiting meadow



Mike O’Shaughnessy

Helped flood a priceless treasure.

Maybe he meant well.


Empty Hetch Hetchy

Breaching the dam to restore

Yosemite's Twin.



Latent habitat

trapped in an aqueous tomb;

Resurrection time.


The time is right now

In this Centennial year

of national parks.





Living far away

The valley of Hetch Hetchy

Has reached my heart.


Sabine van Eyck


Rise up now, John Muir,

A ghost in the Congress halls

Speak for Hetch Hetchy.




Beneath the waters,

Sleeping souls of nature seek

The true light of day



A paradise known as Hetch Hetchy

Was drowned with excuses most sketchy.

We can undo the scam

And get rid of the dam

(Though some Friscans might get a bit tetchy).



The valley so grand
Now, under water. We must
Restore Hetch Hetchy





An orange cat shines

On a sunlit window sill

Sees the birds have fled



How much will it cost ?

How much will they pay for it ?

Last fish in the sea.


Miwok, Paiute, gone

Mono, Yokuts, left waters

covering this land



Let's drain Hetch Hetchy !

Dam and flood Yosemite !

You see what I mean ?


let me walk beauty

purposefully and random

as river course, flow



Don't need Hetch Hetchy !

All the water that they drink

Comes from Tahiti !

where hetchetci grass

moved like ruffled fur, these seeds

wait for life again



Believe it or not,

they planned to dam up the Bay !

Jesus Fucking Christ !


Tuolumne will

flow once more - these mountain pink

currants will burst free



If banksters found oil

beneath Hetch Hetchy's water's

THEY'D tear down the dam !


when sunflowers rise

in meadows where black oaks stand

there, Paiutes will dance



Long glacial faces

Crack and yawn into the deep

Speak of sediment


deep beneath soft silts

muds, these plants, these roots of trees

there new flow begins



Carved of ice and stone

Tool of another purpose

Not for us alone


Flowing waterfalls

stopped too soon; trees erased by

axes and hubris


Kathy Schrenk



Valley echoes with

Water dripping the distance

Stone cliffs of my tub




Dreaming of future
floats on the Tuolumne,
hikes in the valley

Kathy Schrenk



Crystalline water

Stilled as granite cavities

Call me to the sea


Hetch Hetchy is gone

Valley of cliffs and grasses

Buried ‘neath water



Whose bathtub is this

This shrine to water consumed

What of the sacred?


Firs shade the drained dam.

Grass beckons elk and people.

Hetch Hetchy reblooms!



Golden falls cradle

The peaking Sierra sun

Ansel click echoes


Three hundred feet down,

an old playground. Dry it for

all to romp again.




Hetch Hetchy Tomorrow

Yellow frog in pond

Redwood breaks gray rock

White petals in spring


Towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls: Glorious

1913, history changes, sadness, world ever changing

Our World needs restoration: Beautify!



Washington, D.C. /

115th Congress. /



The Past will haunt us

If we can't see the Present

That is Hetch Hetchy



#DrainOShaughnessy /

#WildAndFreeTuolumne /



Forget the future,

We have to dam the valleys

And the children, too



30K per year.

SF pays pfffft for water.

What a sweetheart deal.


Drown sacred temples...

A testament, raw in form

Times are a changin



The Raker Act states:

"Larger Public Interest."



Hetch Hetchy Valley -

the blue of the sky immersed

in the lakes


Marek Kozubek



A century past.

TuCo's birthright was taken.

Time to take it back.




Hetch Hetchy mountains -

the moonlight climbs the

steep slopes


Marek Kozubek



The orchards are parched.

Foothill Tunnel runs nearby.

Pray for rain, Suckers!




the original

Yosemite Valley's twin

will see the sun shine again



That "dammed" Raker Act!

No H2O for TuCo!

SF gets first dibs!


woe to Hetch Hetchy

under a watery grave

waiting to be saved



On TuCo ballot.

Twenty Eighteen Election.



The valley is drowned.

This is so ridiculous!

What are they thinking?



A National Park.

Swiped by slick robber barons.

No water for us.


silent and patient

like a saintly prisoner

the valley awaits



TuCo BoS.

Hetch Hetchy's in District 4.

That's John Gray's district.


the waters cover

a memory awaiting

to be real again



Revocable Grant.

Larger Public Interest.

Those words are the key.


the valley has faith

she hopes for resurrection

she will see justice



Hetch Hetchy Valley.

Pure water is the new gold.

Hostage to SF.


We still hold out hope

That others will understand

Justice for the land




Restore the valley.

Repeal the Raker Act now.

Congress! Get it done!



Restore Hetch Hetchy

Beautiful glacial valley

Half Dome’s other Half


Mark Williamson



It's Wild and Scenic.

The Tuolumne River.

Time to drain that dam.




Mystery below

Yearning to see it revealed

Make it appear now




Drowning by San Francisco!

Nature's Majesty!


Moving water flows

Damn dam is gone; life returns

Grand mistake un-done


Mary Ann Ruiz



Imagine raising

The ghost of an old river

From underwater.




Claimed as a birthright,

Our birthright is Hetch Hetchy-

The land seen restored.



Hetch  Hetchy  Dusk.

Beautiful eyes open WIDE.

Miwok Phantoms DANCE


Blank water reflecting

Granite cathedrals skyward

Broken hearts beneath


Melanie Webber




Hetch Hetchy haiku

Realized restoration

Your Yosemite


Caterina Marie Rosekrans