Sausalito - Poetry Cafe

Robert Chrisman - San Francisco Poet  Bay Area Northern California


The Stranded Grebe 

for Felicity 

Dieseled, he has survived the spill,

the tonnage hemorrhaging  like poisoned blood,

his webs soaked in oil,

head feathers tufted in a punk’s knot.


Tide is out. He is grounded

in the houseboat mire,

his left leg has failed him,

the long sleek lilies trail  beneath his belly fold.


So subtly the tide shifts. . .

he catches a weak finger of current,

a sudden vibrancy of life,

veins of water radiate like cracked glass.


We look again. He has oared himself

quietly into deep water,

plunges, fletches his wings,

glints, black and white onyx,

a flashpoint where two angels meet.

Robert Chrisman  Copyright 2009


Birthday Dream

for Alice Brady


I am walking across the Golden Gate

as it was in 1948

steel grey Chevvies and Hudsons,

a sky of blue ceramic.


I've got a rock in my hand

and I plan to drop it off the bridge

to watch it splash.  But I don't

because I think that when I drop that stone

my  life might perish in its small cascade.


Old shacks freckle the Waldo Grade

and you are in Marin City

tending a people's food and clothing center,

its wooden shelves and cement floors

tranquil as caves.


We open up a bunch of frozen vegetables,

knock out a mulligan laced with  bacon,

walk through Sausalito to Seal Point,

stare at the Bay;

its immense rim is past our believing.


Robert Chrisman - Copyright 2009





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