Friday, January 30, 2015

Oakland This Week

A Flaneurian newsreel of the prevailing Oakland zeitgeist.

Downtown After Dark

 Huge plate glass windows cracked during December's riots, 
Many on Broadway still boarded-up, 
One bank has permanent looking wood,
Will downtown finally turn into a bunker?

 Inescapable sensation of slipping into darkness,
A cynical self-fulfilling prophecy
Might have been avoided

Everybody knows what's coming
 Read the primitive writing on the wall

Oakland Represent

 Lake Merritt as a caninocracy

 Pelicans enjoy leisure time in a boat,
Some middle-school-age kids were smoking cannabis
It was 2PM on a school day,
One said, hello, sir, they were nice boys

This mural suggests an idealized Mountain View cemetery
Without all the graves or anything sad,
Maybe a nice private home, would that be wrong?
That dog's has a jaw like Ridley Scott's Alien

Another Winter Sunset

 Many may have wondered if the end of The Secret of the Sea 
Forebodes no more maritime photos from Ray Man?

 Fat chance of that 
I cover the waterfront

This police boat raced up and glided in,
I took a photo but the light was wrong
Hint of paranoia as the two burly cops walked past me, 
It says "Raymarine" on top

 Here comes the ferry 

 An aquatic sunset a short walk from home,
Compensates for much

Meeting on the water

28 January 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Sea Inside (The Secret of the Sea Part IV, Chapter 4)


The Secret of the Sea

The Visionary Approach

 The day that comprises this chapter
Appears to begin like most others,
With a circumscribed boat trip to maritime San Francisco
Yet today is more than an adventure,
It is a quest for an oceanic vision

Like a fish out of water
I have to cross a land bridge
Before I can grow fins 
and go back into the water again

Despite its vastness, at some point
The bay isn't large enough
To contain my soulfulness

I move out to the limits
A romantic table for one 
For my ritualistic picnic spot

Many have crossed it and many have sailed under it,
But not everyone has scurried underneath the bridge

A huge veritable bomber flew over several times, 
One of three bizarre displays of military might,
Two chinook helicopters cake-walked over the Wharf,
And macho fighter jets made a number of passes

The Marin Headlands
Metamorphic in the changing light,

In  the direction of the sea

The closing of the day 
The bridge steel almost wavers

Each soul like a lone ship,
Enters a mystery in the form of a journey

A longing that runs through all living things,
To return to a source in eternity

The sunset warps space

The earth and sea undulate
 and are part of me

Poignant dusk out where nobody goes but me,

The Golden Gate gives way to the sea
An oceanic planet with islands and continents,
Most places on earth are out of sight of land

The Bridge at Night

At night it's a different world,
An atmosphere of violet-pink mists 
added to a state of irreality

In the center of the image,
The gold band of lights at the Port of Oakland

This is as far as I'll go
The first pylon

Pedestrians aren't permitted on
The wilderness side of the bridge
A proscribed period is reserved for bicycles,
But they can't stop, if they do
A control voice will hector them

A thrill leaning over the rail to image Fort Point,
A dynamic landmark in Noir San Francisco
Would you dive in after Kim Novak?

Headlights on the beach road 
Back to the imaginary city

Onto the Bay again, 
Coming in from the sunset sea
Sailing for home

23 January 2015

Beyond the Sea

In  the realm of archetype
 I return to my home port
The Ferry pulls in as evening falls

 The boat docks at the landing on schedule
Venus and the faintest moon emerge in tandem
As foreseen by ancient astronomers

 I look back over my shoulder
At my adventure as if it was a fable 
As if it all only happened in a dream
A profound dream that buoys me away at night
That glimmers in distant hopes and imagined plans

 The End

January 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saint Leo of Piedmont

The Flaneur makes an unplanned visitation to another area church.

I often take a quaint bus from Old Oakland to Downtown Berkeley that passes through Piedmont avenue as part of it's aleatory route. I have long held a mild interest and urge to see the interior of St Leo's church along the way. As chance would have it, the bus I was on had a phantom back door, opening by itself as we climbed through little residential hills. So when we got to Piedmont the driver pulled over on Piedmont and told us the next bus will be along shortly.
Just then the church bells rang at St Leo's and I went in for a first look.

Sacred Space

  A hasty impression of the front altar

Sacred Heart window 
With Station of the Cross

Organ in the choir loft, 
Too much light

Take this cup from me,
Window with Station of the Cross

A room for condolence and confession

A descendant of old King David,
Virgin Mary icon and garden

Secular Realm

Across Piedmont there's a small cul-de-sac,
Charming in its own way, I tried for an image,
After I did a glittery make-up lady 
said with assumed authority,"Can I help you?"
"Free citizen in a free country," I replied

Guard the schoolyard,
There's a stranger in our midst

What will it be, Bub?
Can I help you?

18 January 2014

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Walking South Berkeley

Enigmatic Intrusion

Can you still take a giant step outside your mind in Berkeley?
Here are some locations recommended for strolling stoned.


Doing the devil's work
Imps of the Perverse inflating a tire
At a defunct auto-dealership

 Once this storage place has you in its tentacles
It can easily drag you under water

 An out-door out-fitters,
Got my back pack and a money-belt here
Dig the large "stones in its passway"

 I love a mansarde,
Shattuck avenue domicile


Won't you ride in my little red wagon,
Careful of sharp edges


A mystical mushroom

 Arboreal portraiture
Russell and Benvenue

 Berkeley-as-I-wanna-be attitude

 Let peace be our sign

Little Bullwinkle dog
We shall come rejoicing,
Peeing in the leaves


Some are more ready than others...

But the big news is...

 All the trees that are starting to flower

 Really feels like Spring has sprung in January

And what begins in California...

 17-22 January 2015