Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Solstice Sail to San Francisco Past

Scrimshaw depicting
a saucy young lady 
of the Barbary Coast

A Child of Summer
The Flaneur welcomes its arrival
 with a small, floating

 Historic bench 
from the Oakland ferry,
Open your golden gate

 Swanning around 
 a soigne scene,
Smoked-out indeed

Rescue at sea,
Flashing on nautical safety

 Virtual San Francisco
made of Os and 1s

We're bound to sail 
around Telegraph hill
to primordial Fisherman's Wharf

Nice to skirt 
the big-city cubism

Come on down
to the Big Dig

 Totem and taboo
Iconic diving suit man

 Gordian knot 
Woven rope
associated with the dream state

 Outside the flags were whipping

I sheltered under the boardwalk

 Out of the wind

 Still in the swim,
Hyde Street Pier

 Bob, bob bobbing along

 Aesthetic and industrious,
my inclinations

 A man in a life-preserver
as seen from the deep

 A lover of life,
unadulterated freedom

 This kid was my hero
of the day
So many come and barely touch water
He jumped in the waves with a wahoo,
His parental units never trod the sand
sat nearby on the pavement
subsumed in their individual devices

His joy was contagious

 It was he and me
and the sea

 His t-shirt read
and he never did
I regreted his dull parents for him
How they ignored his vivid vitality,
Then I watched chubby Mom
shower and feed him,
Dad show him a rope demo
and realized he might be lonely
 but still quite lucky

 Swirling bottle of gold dust

 Led to the forty-niners

 The plutocrats followed

 Necessitated a police state

Happy trails
Ghost dancer

As the afternoon elongated
 I was atmosphericly high

Circling with shorebirds

I knew the way to
San Jose
in air quotes

En voyage,

I am up here now
merely need to close my eyes

Handcuffs were common
during surgery
and dental work

Industrial artifacts
imagining Philip Guston

I'm up here now
Plum tuckered

On a thin woolen blanket
I feel off to sleep

I dreamed an secret elevator lowered me into a substratum of time gone by
I was moving over my shoulders toward a train tunnel a vast gaping worm hole
I understood that my movement in the darkness was motion into the past
That I still had a boat to catch back at sea level soon

When I awoke at 6:35 PM
A vast ceiling of clouds had rolled in 
making thing even breezier and chilly 
I shivered awhile at the far end of the beach
The clouds stretched over the whole sky in strips
all variegated and interestingly shaped
The sun began to reappear toward the horizon
to set behind Mount Tamalpais,
It all lit up as I walked to Pier 41
and sat a while in Musee Mechanique
 to warm up 
The bay was traversed by the most profuse
and largest squadrons of pelicans I'd ever seen
Parading in elegant formation after fish

No battery left for me camera tonight
for my spectacular crossing home

All that remained was my return trip
I rallied but I was ready to go home for supper
and coffee and out of brandy to boot
More herb would only might me more fugue-like and tired

So the crowning irony of all
I had used all the juice in my phone camera
When, for a solid hour, the sky
just bloomed in endless mind-manifesting color 
and expression formed by the objective chance formation of clouds

Still somewhat chilled
I had to sit inside on a comfy seat
But the entire crossing the sunset all over the sky 
just got better and better
It really was all too much for my sensorium

Then followed the most transcendent occurance
when a squadron of pelican followed us
out the North bay flying at the level of the Bay Bridge
and hovering briefly underneath 
Regrouping before they began a long slow descent
parallel to our boat's path

Almost hallucinatory in its intensity, I followed them 
as they swerved toward the other side of Alameda
Then could only marvel as the sky not only stayed lit 
the colors became more intense
Great disordered clouds to the North in the forms
of Max Ernst crossed with tome the of Maxfield Parish

Then the fairy book ultimate
as we deboarded a shipmate
pointed down the estuary
There just clearing the Oakland Hills
The broad gold coin of the full moon
I walked up Washington 
ecstatic and exhausted

Let this antique San Francisco made lantern
stand-in for an truly outstanding sunset,
And all the elements of contentment

20 June 2016