Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Better Days Are Here


from everyone at
 Berkeley Flaneur


Shake em if you still got em

31 December 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Waterfront Oakland (The Secret of the Sea, Part IV, Chapter 3)

The Flaneur takes another walk along another waterfront.

Trains and Boats and a Helicopter

Starting at Jack London Square railroad station

In waterfront Oakland 
Trains haul down the middle of the street

Down at the water a sailboat race for kids


Nice older woody at the marina

A quiet place to rest and watch the boats go by

Macho studs of the US Coast Guard

A re-fueling station for their vigilant patrols

Plenty of opportunities to hit the Bay, 
By the hour or by the lifetime

Restaurants with views predominate the Square

Not just the home of the red white and blue


  But welcoming to the flags of many nations

Not just for pleasure craft,
But for utilitarian vessels as well

But facing facts, one acknowledges what really throbs

That is the thrill of it all

A helicopter careens overhead

Elaborate rigging of a tall ship

Just arrived here from Disneyland

Look no sails needed

Train crossing Washington street 
Earplugs are advised

Coot in a sunken boat,
I'm trying to re-locate le bateau ivre of youth

Here comes the noble Potomac
(We await another FDR )


Someone to guide us out of this maze


Two ferries bound for the ballpark in San Francisco
The world series or something like that

Beyond the Ferry landing, 
Municipal rescue vessels

The Sea Wolf

Relief, a floating lighthouse

Beyond the Square

Serene industrial streets
(note anti-terrorist berms)

Equestrian cranes wait quietly

Symbolist cul-de-sac,
A Paul Delvaux nude sleep-walks past

Farther on,
 The Flaneur regards an imposing tower

Railroad tracks lead
Into the Port of Oakland


Christmas Party at the Port

Port of Oakland at sunset
Viewed from West Oakland BART station

I was invited to a party at the Port,
A convivial time laden with good food

My friend is a chaplin here,
He brings Communion
 To the mariners on board ships

A visitor painted this image
Our Lady of the Seas,
I see her like this as well

The International Maritime Center
Located way out on a final strip of land
Exhilarating out here at night

The Evening Star 
Over the Bay at sundown,
Far to the South around Solstice

So far out in the Bay, 
Feels like you're almost in San Francisco

The End
Of Waterfront Oakland

Coming in January:
The Secret of the Sea,
the final chapter


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Noel Noel


Christmas at Our Lady of Lourdes 

Christmas visit last year

 Altar in the round

 Mary and Joseph
Make the scene

 Sing choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation

 Can never forget the reason He came

 Rejoice, therefore,
All ye citizens of Bethlehem

 Deep peace at Christmas time


 The seeker I sought there
Said he had a rough year,
But he never lost hope

 Nativity window

 Wade in the water, children,
God's going to trouble the waters

Grace pours down on us

 The world is reborn in Him

A blessing on all 

  December 2013

Visit This Christmas


Prayer-rug of the mind
A side dimension

Christmas day I ventured in after enjoying magical gingerbread on a bench in the warming sun in Lakeside park. The wind had made a day in the Fahrenheit fifties seem a lot colder. But the good cheer was contagious among families and friends walking away the calories by the estuary.

I was peaking as I entered and I must admit I gradually got a little freaked-out by the only other person present at that moment. He was a middle-aged black gentleman, bald and bearded, who was sitting in a pew and praying by passing his hands over his head repeatedly in the Muslim manner.
I proceeded to the glorious manger scene and was taken aback to see a dollar bill resting on the Baby Jesus figure. Undaunted I circled the room found my pew, one bathed in window light, and knelt down to pray in a more traditionally Roman Catholic manner.
I heard shuffling nearby as I reposed with my eyes closed. When I opened them again a moment later. I saw that the black guy had his hands around Mary's bosom.
A short time later I observed that additional lucre had been deposited behind Mary's praying hands. Word, she doesn't need it, it's not what we do (outside the Third World), and there is usually a box for donations. Not to find fault, peace on him.  He shoved-off and aside from another group all dressed up in fine clothes who came in to see the manger then left again,
I had the place to myself.

Dorothy Day


Solo Notes

On Christmas day at two in the afternoon
in Our Lady of Lourdes on the Lake
the sun occupies
the nativity window
when seen from the kaleidoscopic pew opposite
the sun appears in the area of the glass
representing the Infant Jesus
the light from it
shines in my face

Sparkling wreathes ensheathe me
an incoming tide of poinsettias
surrounds me
Someone left something that belongs to caesar
In the center of the creche tableau
More stained light falls on the organ pipes
Illuminated trees attend us
A circular altar erupts
red and white roses

Lakeside Bird Sanctuary

a parliament of birds 
on the edge of the crib
conversation I'm not privy to

gulls question everything
one watches me writing
in case I sneak a snack

birds circle at all levels
the sky goes mobile
Duchamp gave Calder that name

tall ornamental building
I thought  someone said "ghostbusters"
somehow I got the reference

flamboyant mallards
have dull females
who nevertheless are beautiful

flock of coots in the grass
or some sort of clover
like make-believe

gull wing manoeuvres
after one breath-taking stunt
a duck shows he didn't like it

that little diving bird
he floats and dives so joyously
 wish I knew his name

armada of comorants swims past
stiff north wind keeps
the water birds lively

scores of snowy egrets
one great egret alone on an island

ducks have different
iridescent colors
over their heads

like today's street signs
like the free floating ultraviolet
I saw in the trees

 black velvet hood
 monochrome duck's partner pulls up
for a second I thought we had a thing