(Note: This was written on a beautiful day in Northern California. No wind, a high pressure system, temperature around 80; the kind of day during which you just can’t help but feel good.)
Driving to The Golden Gate or
An Ode to Walt Whitman
With a “Celtic Wedding” thump, thump, thumping in my ears,
I string my way like sea foam
along the continent of
beating an invisible bodhran
to keep the Irish time.
It’s a day made of, and for, poetry
and I can feel the benevolent leash of my soul
tugging me on,
til I’ve come upon Davenport.
A busy little jewel is Davenport
A town built with brick and timber and constructed of poems
where behind the market counter, a little girl reads little girl romances,
travelers like myself stop to stretch and refresh
and waitresses cater to the internal fire.
Alongside the road, a group of land speculators
have stopped to survey the world,
to them the earth is on sale,
and perhaps it is,
even to the poor speculator such as myself,
as I purchase the land and sky, sea and shore
with a heart and eyes which shine as brightly
as any silver coin,
or in my pocket,
Do I make a profit from such purchases?
not in cents,
but in senses
as my very pores open to the promise of future investment.
Lighthouse points are made of brick and stone
and are the I’s , eyes, and Ayes
of ocean folks
and the protectors of wooden ships
that navigate the zig-zag sea
but they are no more stationary than
You or I
for at night they dance on their lily-pad cliffs
and swim with the thick, elusive fog.
Woolly sheep graze
and at Half Moon Bay a hitchhiker
waves his last two dollars in the wind
he’s a desperate man but today
I’m traveling solo,
in the company of God,
and am not in need of the companionship of man,
I couldn’t have taken his last two dollars
and I am sure that someone else soon will.
Seabirds, trees, rocks, and weeds,
they’ve all come to congratulate me
for my freedom
and are thankful, that I’ve heard their call.
And as I return their words of praise,
follow their flight,
and contemplate the bend in their forever
I begin to write while still on the road so as not
to lose the lines that offer themselves like
but then I opt not to enter
their finely planed hulls
nor sit neither stem nor stern
preferring to swim at my own pace,
at the will of what might lurk beneath
conceiving but never confining.
The Golden Gate
Gateway to the West
Refuge of the East
An eclectic myriad of men, women and culture,
a global village is San Francisco
painted white to reflect her light into the world.
On the bridge my hands sweat with vertigo-thoughts
as the land relinquishes itself
to the Bay
and I, high above the prospect of the sea,
rejoice in the wonder of the Pacific Northwest
and hiking beneath the bridge,
I stop to eat a pauper’s feast,
then sit like a pelican,
pining away the day