Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Metaphors for California

You’re a valiant pine
growing from a cleft in a rock.
You are an old piano by the beach,
sending your notes flying, singing
with the gulls and pigeons
over hippie kids, bums, tourists
and hustlers in Venice’s scented air.
You are the busker’s upturned hat
and his old-soul voice,
and a skateboard’s hard wheels
drumming the dirty concrete.
You are the crowded and boiling road,
a freeway that is anything but free.
You are the salt on my lips and
the dry air that robs my sweat.
You are a shape-shifting constellation
of jets, circling LAX, low over
the shore at El Segundo, turbine rumble
and wave thunder meeting at
a continent’s wispy edge.
You are a waxing moon over
alpenglow, cacti and Joshua trees,
arms stretching in praise, longing,
mourning, silent in the arid heat—
sprawling, tentacled cities and
their elephant hill desert inverses.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Who is the author?

steverino said...

Thank you, and I am the author. I think I'm due for another trip out west!

A Letter to My Students

I don’t say it enough, but I care about you. Each of you. That’s why I’m here. It’s too much work to do it for the money, so there must be ...