Walking the Fog

 

The Booming Tunnel
We walked the fog
 weaving patterns within
the tall grasses and dill
looking for bits of glass
bits of brick in the rubble
of my father’s dream
 We walked
on narrow walls of concrete
rust forming jagged teeth
framed in skeletal jaws
bathed in sea water and silt
Sea birds screamed
against the rising tide
raising memories
my father telling me
gulls were the souls of the dead
Today
I believed it.
We walked the ruins
old Sutro’s past glories
whipping up the mists
bathing our faces with that same water
that fed in from the moving tides
through the tunnels
pulling and pulsing arteries
of the huge pools
pumping
millions of gallons
of sea water
still filling
the tanks
during the day
and then
into the long
chilled
lonely nights
The ghosts walk
slipping through the green depths
gliding past the pump house
unseen
holding a brittle hand
to the face
catching
warm breath
in cold fingers
as you pass by the brick stairs
leading to
nowhere
We walked
the dark
 mist swirling
waiting
lurking
for us
in the tunnels end
the booming
of the surf
pounding rock walls
crashing on the staircase
washing brick and sand
down cliff faces
pummeling our hearts
with its heart beat
We walked the fog
San Francisco, CA
Monday, August 11, 2008
Copyright 2008 LAS All Rights Reserved

The Tragedy Lingers

Electric fence.1

Avoidance…

Exiled…

There is nothing to be done

Movement in careful measures

Dancing around the abyss

until my heart is raw

So close to the edge

falling

is no longer a question

Grace has turned to shards of brittle glass

Ancient sorrow

consumes the players

Driving us on

and away

from the truth

that lays

as an ocean between.

Electric Fence and poem are both copyrighted 2006 LAS. All rights reserved.

Relics

mausaleum guardian.1

The stuff of records

realm of the Egyptian Thoth

It is the knowledge

of something missing

thickly veiled

black solitude and shadows

queries…

…a held belief…

photos displayed

in high-gloss fronted cabinets

stare blindly

at their own reflection

tragedies

triumph

love blessed (and forbidden)

The photos stare

and like the sphinx

remain silent.

Copyright 2006 LAS. All Rights Reserved

MONDAY, OCTOBER 02, 2006

Lost Things on the Highway


Lost things…lost people…moments and memories. It’s strange how sometimes a piece of time that is so important in a special moment gets drowned in your mind and then resurfaces. A trigger point gets touched and suddenly you’re transported thirty years back….into a old brick colored Ford that is driving through a pine and aspen filled canyon in Utah at sunset. The Moody Blues “Knights in White Satin” is playing on the radio. It was the end of autumn. The seats were warm and soft. I was sitting next to this beautiful 18-year-old boy and wishing that this moment could last, though I knew that it wouldn’t.Driving back from California last night at twilight, I was again in a canyon, surrounded by pines and aspen…a passenger counting the white lines. It was raining heavily and the highway was a dark, oily snake in our headlights. My husband and I had stopped in Colfax and bought hot coffee at the Starbucks. The smell of the pines mixed with the coffee and the rain swept air became heavy, crisp, chilly and intoxicating.

For one brief moment the sun shone through the clouds just enough to light the sky to a deep, angry pink. A flash of the something raced in my mind…Terry, a song, and the canyon. So long ago, I thought. In a swallow of coffee, the sky had changed and the colors inside and outside of my head were gone.

The drive to and from California does this to me every time. Maybe it is the forest or a combination of things, such as the rain or the smell of strong coffee on a cold night. Time passages.

The stretches of forest on Highway 88 (and 49, 120, 50 or 80) are beautiful and yet disturbing. Staring off into the thick woods, I wonder what lurks out there, past the low hanging branches and the misty thickets. My mind stirs the witch’s brew of images, words, years, and music, especially when I’m on the road. I see him standing under the dark bows.  I wonder. The whine of the tires on asphalt, clicking past the fences and telephone poles all creating a music of it’s own….the song on the radio.

I relish the moments of then…..”and I love you….yes, I love you…oh, how I love you.”

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Your Own Version and Mine

A thorn sticks in my finger and it penetrates right into my brain. There are times when I am afraid of my thoughts…scared of what my mind will conjure up for it’s own enjoyment or torture.I have been writing since 5 this morning. Unable to sleep, the poems, no, the emotions ran over in my mind ceaselessly.

If I purge this, will it leave me alone? How many times do I have to purge it?

It drones on and on as a nun over her rosary.

rerun….

change the channel

twilight zone and  it is

all
the
same

show!!!

popcorn for breakfast with oatmeal and a dash of brown sugar with my tea. Okay, let’s see where this leads me.

Where it leads you.

There is a dark side to me…glittering, knife-edged and very, very sharp. I am throwing it all up on paper, so to speak…the beautiful, bold, insecure and bizarre.

…the smell of snuffed out candles in the evening air and church confessions banging my head against the dark, on the wood confessional and the words of someone anonymous giving me meaningless absolution for sins I haven’t even thought of committing…..wouldn’t in a million years.

I count candles and rain drops, and tears that were shed over trivialities and nonsense, whose intense meaning in my past look absurd in the now. I keep counting them. Collecting them as scattered beads on the ground, something precious to be put away until I have the patience to re-string them and turn them into something truly beautiful.

The night is young and the spirit is believing in the wax and lighted string, wisps of smoke tangled up in prayers so intimate and unspoken aloud . The silence within me echos up and the choir screams. The spirit boils.

Do you see it? Do you understand ?

So much I pick up and see. So much that goes unnoticed in everyday hurrying to work.

People pass by the building facade and never stop and REALLY see it. They don’t know about the beautiful tiles and the rococo. They don’t see the gargoyle sitting placid and ready to spout water during the rainfall. They see the piece of yesterday’s newspaper and dog crap by the Doric column and have no idea there is a sky above. Eyes to the pavement. Attention to the bits of litter and trash. (My Note: And now cell phones! 8-24-2016)

I see it, too. I just have the nerve to raise my head. That makes me dangerous.. I know too much.

Laying down at the Sutro gate in San Francisco is a cement lion. He waits and watches the decades roll by with the fog from the Pacific. He is covered in sun, covered in dew, cloaked in rain. His roar is frozen. He is wise and aware of everything that has passed before him in the stream of traffic and time that has flowed down the hill over looking the ruins of ghosts and laughter and dancing in the dark to the orchestra after oysters and champagne. Dancing on the floors of a building that you can’t see above the ruins and the tunnel and the boom of the waves at high tide when the spirits run with your candle through the darkness and snuff it out on the rocks and water at the end of cave. Dancing with their ghost lights and dreaming of us as a fantasy in their mind.

Madness, you whisper.

Silent. So much is.

Stage Door Exit

“Stage Door Exit” was one of a number of poems that I had posted on my old blogspot site called “Breathing Thru My Eyes.”  Unfortunately, when I lost the address book that had contained my password to an old email account, I lost the ability to log on to the site and edit it.  Blogger is not great in helping you…AT ALL…in getting your old blog back.  So, in an attempt to not lose old artwork and poetry, I am re-doing some of it here.  I start out with the year 2006.  I have added an image I love.
isadora
Stage Door Exit

When I come back

will you be there to hold me?

Not long,

just a moment to soothe

aching nerves and my tired soul…

Give the loving words

I long to hear

from one

so dear to me now…as always

So far

I have traveled so far

but the reason was not clear

I echoed out the cry

only to hear it

bouncing back loneliness

It was the only answer

Walk the corridors to my rooms

and fall in step…

dark ramblings

with the castles of air

of then and now

Shadows come and go

touching me briefly

passing lightly

Too much (sorrow)

wells up and it

taints my dance

I light a candle for you

burning it bright in the window

light in our storms

light for your way

Pulling back from desperation

I walk the sea foam

gazing into the hems of the oceans’ skirt

The decoration and finery of small shells

seaweed embroiders the story of us in her gown

The sea is lifting me

in the shallows

to lay me soft on your shores

silent at your feet

Gather me there, my Love

Away from the lights and stage door exits

lift me away to the fires and warm furs

where I can sleep in peace

perhaps a small time together

without dramas and wars

Claim me as your own and heal this weary soul.

copyright 1987 LAS. all rights reserved.

Phases

Watching the colors already turning the mountains to blood and gold, my thoughts turn to soft grasses under my feet, the smell of the river, the toss of a stone.

The harvest is coming.

Savoring the sweet tang of peaches and the smell of burning leaves… still two of my favorite things this time of year.  They inevitably pull me back in time to an old orchard, yellow tall grass.

On the other side of a wooden gate, a canal ran to somewhere through the tall weeds and grass.  The water was always cold and crisp, flowing in that swirling still way that let you know it was swifter than it appeared. It gave a fresh, cool scent to the air, making the apples ripening on the surrounding ancient trees give off an aroma you will never smell in store bought fruit.

Often I would go down to the old orchard, despite warnings from my grandma that there were tramps down there.  It was my hidey-hole…my piece of sanity.

It was this place that I turned to even after high school had started.  Most days until the snow drove me indoors, you could find me under a favorite old peach tree to the left of the gate.  You couldn’t see me right off.  I had wound a trail in the grass down to the river bottoms and would follow the bank, double back and weave a line to the west side of the low hanging, untended tree.  There I would slither under the boughs and sit in the green grasses that never seemed to dry out like the veil of gold in front of me that hid me from prying eyes…should they come, which they never did.

The lone peach tree was my refuge, fort, room with a view.  I dreamt of love there. I planned beautiful prom dresses and nights of enchantment that drifted into winter mist. Wrote in my diary.  Unsubstantial and ethereal dreams.  The most beautiful and romantic room I have ever known.

When the peaches ripened, I would take out a knife and cut into the sweet, sticky flesh.  They were the sweetest, tangiest peaches I have ever eaten.  Carefully leaning over the canal to wash my hands, my book of poetry waited under the tree. Sometimes, I would would read aloud, pouring out my heart to an unseen lover that I prayed would magically appear beside me.  Other times, my bag would be full of watercolors, brushes, and pad, trying to master the spiraling curls and wisps of hair from Mucha’s drawings and posters.

The tang of rotting peaches to this day brings back to a place that exists now only in my mind.  The orchard is now a parking lot for a medical center.  It was at this tree that I realized I had fallen in love with a “elvish” boy in school.  The tree knew my secret and my hearts desire.  I wove seventeen years old school girl wishes and spells made up in my heart in the golden grass, twinning it and braiding it and tossing it in the creek to float gently to the lake.  Did I dare to tell him?  No.  At least, not for many years later after I did meet him again and married him, the Lord of my Heart.

We drove back, 6 years ago, to where the tree had stood.  He confided that he, too, had done something similar under cottonwood trees, much farther upstream in the canyon.  He had bitten off long, leggy grasses and thought about me in an unreachable way.  His longing had traveled the river, traveled the ages, winding it’s way past the old orchard, detouring into the canal and passing close to the peach tree.

Whose wishes were stronger?

Well, I guess we received what we had both asked for all those years ago, never dreaming that the blood and gold of August would grant us our wishes, even though it was brief.  Those four years will last a lifetime as I tick the days away, waiting for the elven boy to return, peek under the boughs of the peach tree taking my hand and leading me to his mountain home by the river.

(August 22) 2016 copyright LAS. All Rights Reserved.

The Boy in the Car

Steel maroon streak

flashing yellow

out my front window

he gunned the engine

pulling my

hooked heart

like a fish

across the grass

“the boy in the car is going

to get you in trouble”

she croaked from

the kitchen door

wooden spoon aloft

meatloaf smell surrounding her

the door slammed

as I chased after my heart

down the red stairs

flaking paint and bits of debris

stuck in the corners

the two trees

watching

my feet

FLY

across the pavement

not looking back

at my grandma

staring out the front window

behind the white

gauze veil

wishing she was

young

running across

the grass

after her heart

hooked like a fish

by a boy

in a

fast

maroon

car

April 2016…dedicated to my husband…I love you, Terry.

2016 copyright LAS. all rights reserved.