San Francisco [Almost a Sonnet]


(The city by the bay of Northern California, near which the Pacific Ocean resides; the year is 1967)

Mid October seemed like some spring day,

When through the poised waters, dry as lead,
The ferry, like vague shadows that stand the dead,

Slipped down the curved coast of Frisco bay,
Rounded the Golden Gate,-and San Francisco lay,
Before me, that gay city, pink and red,
Hippies covered Haigh Asbury's homeless head,-

My home, to be, I found stirring and grey.

The waves busted on the wooden-sides; fishermen

Nearby with long necks, looked and cast again.
Deep in emerald waters we wandered free,
When abruptly the bay currents were stirred

The ferry bearing restrained the great sea bird
Settling, like Asbury's spirit, in the sea.

6/4/05 #708

Note by the Author: Sonnets are tricky little creatures, and although I started out to create one, I found I had to lay it aside, and create a semi-sonnet, for I did not want to lose tone, and spirit of the waters around the bay of San Francisco, and the echoes that came with it. I had lived there in l967-68 for a year. And many ferry rides were available for a few dollars. Some even chanced it by going under and out beyond the Golden Gate, and so it was the supreme achievement of my youthful years to have become a part of this fascinating city, in such a fascinating time period, one unequalled since the 1920's when Hemingway and Fitzgerald walked the streets of Paris, and Scott, coined the term, "The Jazz Age," back in l967, it was the Hippie Era.

I suppose for me, I do not feel bound by formal regularity to create a full sonnet, but in this poem neither did I want blank verse, which is unrhymed iambic pentameter. So this is what I came up with. The trip I took on the boat was actually with my mother, who came to visit me in the city by the bay, as I had gotten drafted to go into the Army, and onto Vietnam. It was a joyful memory for both of us, which lasted until she passed on in 2003; yes, we talked about those far off days in San Francisco, of which she only stayed for a week, for 35-years; what more can one ask for out an experience.

Poet Dennis Siluk web site: http://dennissiluk.tripod.com


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