Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Ascension

The Tomb was empty.

No one had a plausible reason to steal the body, not the Sanhedrin and not the Romans, but for the Apostles of Jesus, who went to their deaths without recanting despite incredible torture.

The Risen Christ remained in the world until the Day of His Ascension which we celebrate today.

Cathedral of Christ the Light

30 May 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Secret of the Sea, (The Secret of the Sea, Pt II, Chap.4)

On the third day of a heat wave, one week before Memorial day, you can get huge acerage of prime beachfront to yourself only a short walk from the streetcar stop just as blessed oceanic air first hits.

Marked by a black and white parasol, 
the Flaneur has chosen his spot wisely.
Has he mentioned he has First Nations blood?

Looking fondly back on the continent
North America lies east of here

 The Sea heals the body and the mind
A guy on a board in the surf
weaves inside the Secret of the Sea

 Toward the headlands of Marin
Seal Rocks and Cliff House in the mist
 Visible bands of marine influence

La voie lactee, the universe am I
The Secret of Sea is that
You have to go in the water


 My projectile has landed
Time out of time
Everything is peace of mind

Inevitably one crosses back
Over the dunes
To another world nearby

15 May 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Return to Indian Rock

The Flaneur here provides a mainly visual tour of his recent hike to the old beloved spot. For a written description of the location, see the earlier post, "An Outing at Indian Rock" (April 2011).

To get there I walk up the hill backward
 North Berkeley, Shattuck avenue
A marvelous tunnel on the right

This fountain adorned with jolly bears
Spreads cheerful feeling

Sidewalks abound with tumultuous flowering plants

Ya heard?

Philosophical stairway on Indian Rock

Eschatological warning system
When the sea gets this high it will notify the neighbors

Looking back toward Berkeley, 
distant Oakland

The money shot, not to be vulgar
The land out in the Bay before the bridge
is the Berkeley Marina

Very precipitous rocks, 
Only little kids and athletes climb here

Sweet old cat I met up top--my doppelganger
He digs hiking and the Mass, yoga and ganja too

Yoga babe

That's a lot of sky and sunshine
time to head down the ramp

All the way to the North Berkeley library
My first visit here, nice spot to get out of the sun

10 May 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Well, we all need someone we can lean on, sang the Glimmer twins.


 It was a slightly blustery weekday at Lake Merritt and few people were around. In an effort to begin toning down some of the blinding whiteness beneath my shirt, in contrast to the healthy tan on my arms and face, I had lain in the grass topless. As I read on a t-shirt, "sun's out/guns out"-- a t-shirt worn I might mention by young Channing Tatum.
In recent years I have been very pious in my daily exercise with includes a dozen push-ups and lots of arms over the head movement. I do this not to look like a body-builder but to keep my chest strong enough to maintain a heartbeat.
Nevertheless the guns and related artillery have increased in size. This coupled with a virtually vegan diet leaves me for the first time in decades with what might be termed a physique.
I bring all this up to provide the context for a moment of affirmation that occurred there at the so-called lake.
The wind picked up and it became chilly for shirtless sunbathing. As I was donning my shirt I threw up my arms and when I looked again a an adorable little Chinese four-year-old boy was enthusiastically observing me. His father and brother had walked on slightly, when he called:
"Daddy, look, muscles!" He copped that constipated muscle man pose with his arms horse-shoed in front of him. He stayed near me to bust his move so I'd see him too. Appropriately was wearing he was wearing a sleeveless muscle shirt himself. He was perfectly of the age when a little boy is rhapsodic over super-heroes and muscle-bound characters of all types. His straight-laced older brother looked back disapprovingly, while the dad and I had were quite amused. I encouraged the kid by flexing like him one time. Health and strengthy.

An admirer


A few months ago I was at the Trader Joe's store near the Rockridge BART station on College Avenue. My mission which I had hoped to accomplish forthwith was to purchase some licorice chews, some curiously strong mints and a can of steel-cut oats. In and out no need to browse, was what I anticipated.
But Fate had it otherwise. I joined the first 12-items-or-less express-line but I was instantly discouraged by noticing that a lady in line ahead of me had around 48-items-or-more in her trolly. So I switched to the alternate express-line only to discover that there was a basket near the feet of a tall east Indian fellow that also had a large quantity of small items in it.
In my endgame strategy of life I do have what may be for some a tendancy to be rather out-spoken.
Addressing no one in particular,I announced "Twelve items or have more than that you are cheating others."
The tall Indian fellow immediate turned to see who had said this. I showed no perturbation but kept a somewhat serious face I suppose. He asked me, "Does it taste different?"
"Excuse me," I replied. Maybe some others detected a don't-trifle-with-me undertone in my voice; he apparently did not.
I suspect his thinking went along the lines of this: (Deepak Chopra voice) "Sometimes when poepl are uptight if you talk to them in a friendly voice then they get over themselves."
"Does your oatmeal taste different?" he asked.
"What the hell are you talking about?....Does your oxygen taste different?!"

Sudddenly it seemed the whole place customers and employees were all laughing. I thought it was funny but usually I don't get such unanimous agreement for my public commentary. Even the two people who made an attempt to come to his aid--"it does taste different" were laughing.
When I got the cashier he was smiling and scrutinizing me to see if I was being funny or was actually angry.

I expected to see it in the SF Chronicle, Leah garchik's column with its overheard  quotes feature.

"Does your oxygen taste different?!" 
Man in Rockridge Trader Joe's 
 asked by a stranger if his oatmeal tasted different.

(I admit that this affirmation was sort of grouchy. He did assume I was Irish I think and happened to be right. My Irish was up a little when I thought he was condescending as well as rude. At this point I am concerned about my temper and about what's been called "Irish Alzheimer's."
That's when all you can remember are the grudges.)


 It was a hot night on Wednesday last week. I spent an hour down at Jack London square waiting for a cooling breeze. Heading home I walked to the Embarcadero bus stop at the foot of Broadway to await my coach. The stop is at the corner where the Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant is located.
There was steady foot traffic and the light was just dimming. A figure appeared on the opposite corner, a slight African American woman with her hoodie up. She looked rather alone, aleatory, low income, perhaps homeless... to continue the profiling. She seemed to lay her eyes on me and never looked away again. I looked back in her direction with indifference, not looking away in typical nervous avoidance reaction. She just kept looking my way. The situation appeared to bode for a very common experience, one in which a street person sees someone relatively immobilized at a bus stop and uses the advantage to cage donations or even just to spend time in someone's company. Who could blame them.
But this girl's intent seem a little more intense than the average encounter of this sort. But hell, one handles whatever one stumbles upon. Music plays out of speakers on the outside of the Home of Chicken and Waffles, Soul or R and B classics, tunes that I generally enjoy. The girl seemed to pick up on the music as he approached on a beeline to climb onto the curbing of a safety island in the middle of Broadway. There she kept the steady gaze and began a desultory dance, a mild jerk to one side followed by a mild jerk to the other side like a banal metronome. Slyly I had to not let it show that I found it amusing so as not to encourage her.
She gain to in love her arms in her dance, an absurd cobra dance of seduction directed unmistakable at me. Just then a young guy crossing the street passed me and said something with a smile. I removed my earplug for a repeat.
"You've got your own personal entertainment, lucky you," he repeated. I had to laugh and the joviality seemed to attract the go-go dancer who continued on her straight path toward me and resumed  her skanking on the curbstone in front of the metal bench on which I sat.
After a few seconds I stood up to go.
"That's alright," I said to her, "my ass hurts anyway."
As I went around the corner toward the previous bus stop, I heard her say,
"I think you look beautiful!"

Photos 2014 
Home of Chicken and Waffles 
photos July 2013

Friday, May 16, 2014

Exoskeleton of Giant Prehistoric Fish on Ocean Beach in San Francisco

Seeing is believing.

 I went back to Ocean beach yesterday but I didn't see this colossal fossil.
This was the last photo with my former digital camera.
A photo-journal of yesterday's adventure will follow shortly.

September 2013

TheSecret of the Sea 
Inter-chapter number one


Chapters from The Secret of the Sea:
"Color Theory and the Circular Enigma"
"Heat Wave Beaks on Ocean Beach"
"A Secretive Prehistory of San Francisco"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thirty-first of December

 trees in early bud
pale sun already going down
  the last dharma flag

31 December 2013

Save Our Berkeley Post Office Building

We are quite fond of our old Berkeley Post Office building,
 one of the pillars of our community.

Always busy, visited by everyone,
there have recently been festivities on these stairs

It's a hallowed old spooky place
where I keep a post box

They don't always treat the fixtures very well

Box 364  zip 94701
And a glimpse behind the scenes
view from a stairwell

It's a Historic Place and we sort of like it that way, damn it

It represents a dignified history

The stately elevator with its brass door
An illumination of democratic ideals

The wisdom of a town with peaceful traditions
Reflected in the notable WPA-sponsored artwork

BANG! Not anymore, baby.
Remember that stairwell?
Paranoia strikes deep 
always plenty of federal money to squander 
on keeping petty authorities safe from the public

Remember that part about the National Historic Place?

Well, it turns out that the Republicans in Congress would like to eliminate the postal service as we know it. They have imposed impossible pension funds set-asides to further weaken the USPS defenses and forced the sale of real estate in an attempt to comply. Privatization marches on.

Into the situation stepped an opportunistic well-connected investment group spear-headed by the honorable regent of the California University System, Richard Blum. He happens to be the husband of our long-serving Senator Diane Feinstein who seemed to have little problem with the CIA advanced interrogation and surveillance  programs until they included her.
Blum and his cohort are buying  post offices in the high roller real estate markets like Berkeley.

The Berkeley Post Office is yet another front in the relentless depredation of the Plutocracy


Art Moderne Street Clock Missing

The Flaneur supposes one is one's senior citizenship when one dwells on lost things.

 These photos were taken last summer uptown at 17th Street in Oakland. 
Today the building has been refurbished and the clock is not there.
 Is it really lost though? 
Probably destined for some restaurant or at best the Museum.

 It's a kooky survival of Orientalist deco kitsch.
I was always delighted to see it still there over the years.

Theis shot are included for their documentary value 
alas, I can't seem to figure out how to post it vertically.

July 2013

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Gift from God

The earth produced vegetation: the various kinds of seed-bearing plants and the fruit trees with seed inside, each corresponding to its own species. God saw that it was good.

Laws are made by charlatans who trick people into electing them whereupon they become full-time "fund-raisers." Wicked men who serve the evil rich.

Le Bon Dieu looks after his people.

 It's so nice to come home to my slippers and my rolling tray

"Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol."- President Barack Obama.
Yeah and a leaf of dinosaur kale is no more dangerous than a leaf of tobacco.

420 24/7 365

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Birds of the Berkeley Marina (The Secret of the Sea Pt.II, Chap.3)

In which the Berkeley Flaneur  hikes deep into the Berkeley Marina on an ornithological dig.

Begin here

All across the purple heather
 Walk in through a grassland preserve

The female blackbird sits on a nest
right along side the asphalt
The male guards the scene, he followed me on

It's a strange place, land where the Bay was
Artificial nature

Looking back toward Berkeley
An index of our feathered friends

California poppies and fennel grow between the boulders
These poppies radiated so vividly
I trespassed over a wire fence to get close
A  jack-rabbit bounded out of subterranean catacombs as I did

Down to the Bay
 at the Northernmost point
Rocks like black fractals

My sacred spot
 Owned by no one open to all

At home in the great outdoors

A striking red wing blackbird
perched on a dry fennel stalk
The friend I came here to meet

He would just soar in the steady onshore wind

And get to the top of the sky

And for a boundless instant
I'm up there with him

Then he brings me right down again safely
hovering over his nest of  bright green fennel
like a military jet straight up and down

Sky Window
Just beyond it, my point of contemplation

Around toward the Berkeley breakwater
and past it the extraordinarily Berkeley pier
Vaguely evident is the new Bay bridge etcetera

Lovely in its Easter raiment,
this hardy copse endures constant wind
It faces the Golden Gate directly across the Bay

Back past the boats

No local people ever ride these Hornblower boats
Strictly for the marks who stay at the touristy hotels

Some fortunate few get to stay here all night, every night

Unlike the Flaneur who must cross a field of poppies
before he falls asleep

31 April 2014