Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Real Santa Klaas and the Polar Bears

Enter the Enchanted Toy-chest
for a fairytale of Christmas

Although all fairy folk are not small
The real Santa is. He's a small and humorous Elf

If you are dubious
just dig the Ur-text
"A Visit from Saint Nicolas"

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

Fairy folk are "the good people"
who bring health and delight
"the people of the hill"
who are only worrisome when vexed

And Santa is the most good of them all.

He a ancient and beneficent spirit
who got his name from
the Bishop of Amsterdam
the resplendent Sinter Klaas
who took his name from
a kind Turkish saint
Nicolas who tossed bags of coins
down the chimneys of the needy

The bulbous coke bottle Santa
Seasonal work for the paunchy
Draining that much more magic
into the mundane

The real Santa is much more
antiquated than these figures
He lives in the most remote
of all hills
The ones at the North Pole

Above the tree line
Santa cultivates an arboretum
of ice

Polar bears love
abundant snow and ice
and they are always eager
to find something to eat

They cannot however
eat the fairy folk
Their helpful friendship has
existed for thousands of years

Here are three of Santa's helpers
who came to see me this Yule:
That's The White,
an eye-opening Sativa wax:
The damsel in yellow
is called Sherbert,
she's heavy hybrid:
Escorting them both
is Purple Urkle
An Indica key
to the land of dreams
Together they make three
together they make the world
into an old-fashioned picture book

Bears stay happy on water

But it's real water
not the puddle water
most of the rest of the world

But all is not well
in the polar realm

It started when tiny
particulate pieces of black type
began to float in on the wind
as if from conversations
and media words
and endless ignition

It landed on the ice and snow
on the awesome and mighty

and everything began to cascade
into the burgeoning sea

The restaurants were
like the old Soviet era,
nothing left to serve

Ice islands are needed
for the bears to hunt seals,

Trapped on barren rock islands
they are forced to savage
the black guillemot nests

Santa and the most resourceful
pondered what options remained

All the kindness the Great Spirit
provided for mankind
only served to create
a sense of entitlement
Consuming the world
for excess wealth and power

Who knew
the Mouse King
was so vicious?

Uh oh, here comes Santa Bertram
Klaas' brother or something,
The elves call him Santa Bitch
He's going to find out
who's nasty and nice

Do we anthropomorphize
the evanescent polar bear?

Hibernating under
the auroral trees?

The Polar Bear
his destiny
bound for the mythic
remembered only in culture
and lore
 gone from the realm
of real ice and snow
At the North Pole
where the stars are the closest
The Polar Bears step off into the sky
hunting phantom ice floes

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yuletude Beat

Noel Noel

A tree of light

Join Yuletide Beatnik Le Flaneur
 for a small world-wind tour
of his favored stomping grounds
attuned to optical effects
of Solstice time

Oakland had a blue blue blue Xmas
the Christmas blues in fact
the deadliest fire in its history
An unsafe warehouse space
used for a music event

From A to B
Alameda to Berkeley

December sky
an all pervading poignancy
as if the universe could combust
into eternity,
remains stable for the moment

Old school forever


Anachronism of Anglophilia
A lingering pretention
Lose the Castro street mustache
and the ruffles
if you want any company, pal

This here's an all-American town
Marilyn in a Santa Claus nightie,
none of this Adam and Steve stuff

We let a girl know
when we're interested
and what we're interested in

We grab life
by the per se

And when girls are scarce

A traditional holiday
wank fest

Lakeside Oakland

Mother of Sorrows
pray for us
Across the way there was a
candlelight vigil
for those who died in the fire
and those who grieve for them

The mystical oaks
why it's called Oakland

Saw a splendid animal
and I looked around and I noticed
there wasn't a zoo

College Avenue
Rockridge to Berkeley

Had a superb Thanksgiving meal here
again this year
nice vibe healthy victuals

Forget what tie
you wear

In America
you are what you drive

The splendors
of College Avenue

Large polychrome Santa Claus
by Jeff Koons, I think
First Nation Santa
a syncretic fertility figure

Sidewalks are a winter wonderland
even without la neige

Elves brings delight
to the young
and the old

New Goddess shrine
downtown Berkeley


More light!

Mountain View cemetery
Winter Solstice

so early on the Solstice
the sun so far South

December 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi Revisited

 The Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi

A worthy rerun from last December

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 visitors from all over stream though each day.
Regularly scheduled classical and sacred music concerts take place there as 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