Saturday, December 16, 2017

Third Sunday in Advent


 The Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi

Last year the Flaneur continued on his Advent Sunday of one hundred photos.

Returning to a holy venue that I first attended in its original role as a parish church. North Beach was a quite different place then in the last years of the nineteen-seventies.
Everything was, of course, very different than today. Local parishioners fall away,

The place was closed by the Diocese for some time. Its steeples cast  a lonely silhouette in the dusk.
Then the relics of St Francis and of St Clare arrived salvifically. The order of St Francis brought the church back as a national shrine with a liturgy and an outstanding music program. A minor miracle.
After a few years of its success, local Italo-American pride kicked in the funds for a precious re-imagining of the small chapel Francis and his followers built so long ago: the Nuova Porziuncola. It is a place for meditation and prayer and, I think perhaps rarely, a Mass.

Masses in the Shrine itself are well-attended and classical music concerts take place there regularlyas well.
It seems visitors are present at the Shrine whenever I'm there; sight-seers respect the prayerful atmosphere and get a spiritual contact high I am certain.

 The approach on bountiful Columbus avenue,
It's a good time to go in and say a prayer.

Measuring the Nuova Porziuncola

 The entrancing goodness of the entrance,
Dig the window
like a Renaissance Magritte

 The inner porziuncola,
Re-enter the sacred
like a spacecraft air-lock

 Kneel and pray in solitude,
Forget about the passing time,
Unburden your circuitry

 Your own true mind may emerge,
A larger self may manifest in you

 The bread of eternity within reach,
A sandwich from Molinari can be good too

Inside the Shrine

The bells had been rung,
Vibration still quivered in the rafters 
Like winter birds come inside


 The boys choir had finished their program,
The buoyancy of it had lifted all vessels,

 A member of the faithful lights a candle
Extends the feeling in her heart,
It illuminates her day after she leaves

 The figures in the manger
await the coming of the Christ child

 Open throughout the day and throughout the year,
All are welcome and all are blessed

 The mystical light of the sun of Solstice,
Reaches through the stained glass,
Onto a mural of the death of Francis

 An old friend of mine, the poet Philip Lamantia had his funeral Mass here,
The tendentious and misleading introduction to his Collected Poems,
Attempts to portray him as a desultory convert who finally said phooey,
It ignored the fact that a funeral Mass with the music of Messiaen
Doesn't just happen for any merely nominal Catholic who passes away,
It is the decedent's last and most profound profession of faith,
After a coke habit and the bug house Philip swore
The Relics and the Franciscan brothers redeemed his soul and his life
Narrow careerists would rob him of his redemption

Once someone has experienced the Sacred Heart
 Through the Blessed Sacrament,
He exists in relationship to it for eternity

22 December 2013

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winter Lights In Golden Gate Park

7 December 2017

The annual event augented this year
by a fantastic light show
projected from within
the Conservatory of Flowers
And a Winter Carnival midway
through the pitch black
and chilly park

Where Haight Ashbury
meets the Park
Xmas fantasia abound

New Years babies
fill the void
left by the departed

All about the high life
for the affluent

Stanyon Street
and other sorrows
Tour buses still point out
hippie stragglers

The big trees
of Golden Gate Park
a storybook experience
every time

Actually down
with a sharp cold but
I don't want to stay home
and be all hang dog,
Events happen once

Tired of waiting

A fire truck showed up
with lights flashing
and Santa Claus got out

 I slid into the mid-way

in Golden Gate Park!

Santa's Little Helper
can't see me
outside his plastic tent

A strange classroom
under the night sky

 On to the Conservatory
of Flowers

I rested alone
sitting on a fallen tree
out behind it for a half hour

 A stage appeared out of the
cold darkness
of interstellar space

Just then the Conservatory
came to life
with accompanying ambient music
welling from the stage behind me
adding to the other-worldy effect

I had to get close

Like a Wedgewood figment
of my imagination

Moody blue

A molten colored house
for the Flower Children
50 years after
the Summer of Love

I think I was peaking
right about now

The kids seem to revert
to an atavistic choreography
it got more and more unreal

I surrendered to the dream
and lost my ability
in the darkness
to capture anymore images

The tree is lit
what an installation
what an environment

I wish I had cannabis chocolate
for everyone

Santa hat High School band
a romantic scenario perhaps

Everybody is in
an altered state
of consciousness

A fast Fulton street bus
and I'm down at the Civic Center

Outside the Asian museum

An arresting visage indeed

The usual Taiko squad
to split your eardrums

A Blue Meanie Leviathan
eye candy in excelsis

City Hall certainly
had it's red white and blue
balls out too

Mayor Lee
we hardly knew ye

7 December 2017