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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Night At Home

Soft grey rain clouds rest over the City tonight, gently wrapping her in a shroud that keeps the crescent moon from shining upon her. Odd. Saint Francis was a man, but San Francisco is surely a woman – sometimes an exciting, sexy, hot woman – vibrant, glowing, teasing the life out of all who are around her - sometimes a woman of grace and elegance, dressed impeccably in a dark woolen suit with splashes of red and gold; sometimes the City is a gaggle of girls, in Catholic school uniforms, riding Muni, their hair pulled back into pony tails, their soft young arms wrapped closely around their waists, their long, smooth, young legs complimented by short, checkered pleated skirts. Sometimes The City is a skanky woman, skinny and drawn, with yellow teeth, yellow skin, and a raspy voice, walking on worn high heels that click-clack a staccato rhythm of fear thinly veiled by bravado. Tonight the City is a content yet tired woman who welcomes the protective and cleansing cloak of rain and the opportunity to rest, just a bit, just a bit.

Out my window I can see over the rooftops and down the hill, see the warm lights of homes, bars, restaurants. Yet in the distance, the lights on Market Street are not quite as bright as usual, and there’s a point at which they completely dim, fade away into the dark, and I can see no further. Yet I know that beyond those lights which disappear in the grey mist, beyond that cloak of rain and clouds, the familiar buildings of downtown San Francisco – City Hall with it’s gold-hued roof, the sharp pyramid of the Bank of America building, the charming ferry building, sitting on the wharf, dwarfed by the tall buildings which flank it on either side - yes those buildings are still there hiding in the dark, waiting for the gray rain to dissipate. The long line of cars that cross the Bay Bridge are still visible, their white headlights wavering in the rain, but the bridge’s suspension arcs no longer twinkle in the night like spider webs drenched in dew – they are lost in the grey clouds.

A fire burns in my fireplace and Van Morrison plays on my stereo – singing of the Healing Game - and I am home, gazing out my window, dining on cheese, cold chicken, a Fuji apple, a Hershey’s chocolate bar and a bottle of syrah.

I am not home much on Friday nights. Usually I am out and about, dining here and there, sipping coffee in some café that features a poetry reading, popping into bars to listen to jazz or, of all the things, betting on horse races – yes the latest craze. Last Friday found me at an Irish bar on Geary Street that holds occasional horse races, the proceeds benefiting an Irish charity abroad. (Hmmm… though I understand The Troubles are over - can you say IRA?)The bar puts together a race program and various bar patrons pay to “own” horses and hire jockeys. Over the course of three hours I lost 10 bucks on eight races. In race six, my horse was in the lead, but fell behind just short of the finish line. The bar plays a CD of various races on a large screen: steeplechases, fast tracks, and market races. The crowd cheers on the horses and as the evening progresses and the beer pours more swiftly, becomes quite heated – yelling profanities at horses that fall behind (yet carry a hefty bet), cheering on the leaders and the break-aways – the horses that pull up with astounding speed from behind – and guffawing – rather loudly and coarsely - if a horse trips or a jockey falls.

But tonight I am home. Watching the rain and mist and dim lights. Listening to Morrison and Coltrane and Thelonius Monk. And even though my place still isn’t quite together (I sit on the blow-up mattress in my living room as my new couch still hasn’t been delivered), I am at peace. This is indeed home, and I am content to be here tonight resting in my roost.

Ah, the rain has stopped. The clouds begin to thin, leaving a loosely woven blanket of grey wrapped around the city. The lights of downtown shimmer threw the mists, and the suspension arcs of the Bay Bridge become faint traces of light against the grey night, just barely perceptible. The City shakes her wet hair, casting a thousand and one drops of water across rooftops and street lights, brick stairways and gritty alleys; drops that scatter like small, tiny kisses and then softly, softly, disappear, leaving just the slightest trace of mystery in the night air.

Now the clouds lift, rising up and moving steadily south as the ocean wind blows gently yet steadily over the Golden Gate and down the Bay. The City rises from her damp, silver couch, dons her glittering jewelry. The lights sparkle and twinkle again along Market Street, the golden dome of City Hall gleams, the lights of the financial district brighten.

The City is breathing, moving, as a woman on the stage, performing the most exquisite dance. I sip the smooth syrah from my wine goblet and smile.

It’s good to be home.

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27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thundering, encompassing Love Supreme and the tall hills behind, block the view south, beyond radio towers and eucalyptus, where the mourning tenor sax also reaches out into the grey, briefly still and windless air, slowly spiraling. . . upward, into thick mist. The fingertips of that tonal, yet keyless howl don't yet grasp the southward twang of A minor.

October 20, 2007 1:04 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

who are you, anon?

October 20, 2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A fellow fog dweller, Coltrane listener, and poetry attempter who also lives in the Bay Area.

October 20, 2007 10:38 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

i suspected as much - you are familiar with the terrain. but ... do you blog? do i know you in the material world?

how did you stumble across my blog?

and isn't love supreme supremely suited to san francisco?

October 20, 2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger she said...

thelonius my ol friend sit right down and let me take your hand....(donald fagan)

lovely writing boyedie. im liking this love affair of yours.

im healed. long recovery ahead, but im still in it.

October 20, 2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger Polly said...

Lyrical, poetic, imagery of the great writer that you are!
Your beloved city below and around.

ahhhhh!

October 20, 2007 6:55 PM  
Blogger J Cosmo Newbery said...

It certainly sounds as if home is a good place to be. Glad you're back.

October 20, 2007 9:55 PM  
Blogger /t. said...

something
about san francisco
that brings out the poets
and the romantics

nice piece

[hey she, hey cosmo]

/t.

October 21, 2007 9:55 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

she! glad you're cognizant again! that wasn't too long at all.

polly - such compliments - and yeah, don't i wish i had the discipline to write a book.

cosmo - and you too! though no one ever really knows where you truly go.


/t. - yes indeed - the City brings out the poets, the romantics, and the jazz lovers. that's becasue its' such a romantic, poetic, jazzy place. haha - that sure explains absolutely nuthin, huh?

October 21, 2007 1:05 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

PS - to anon

aha! i do KNOW you - I thought as much.

hee hee hee.

October 21, 2007 1:05 PM  
Blogger Mayden' s Voyage said...

Good to be home indeed <3, Bird- this was beautiful...especially when I think of my city- sigh-
Where I am is gorgeous, but there is so much wrong with this place.

Except- there is no predicition for an earthquake or landslides...just drought :(
We all have a burden of some sort to bear- don't we?
lovely post :)

October 21, 2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

a visit to the local Irish pub without moi? it's not right...

October 22, 2007 9:55 AM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

she - nice shout-out to Steeley Dan!

October 22, 2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

ah mayden - there is so much wrong with every place - even my beloved SF - i just dwell on what i love...

bogs - come on out to San Francisco - we'll do an Irish pub tour - that could keep you busy for quite a long time.

i love irish pubs - because every man jack in the place calls me "love." doesn't matter how old they are, or who they're with - they call all women "love."

it's lovely.

"i want to put $1 on Megan's Folly in the 5th."

"Ah, and sure you do love, now thank you."

"I'd like a guinness please."

"and it's a fine choice you've made indeed love."

"oh, damn - my horse lost again!

"oh there now love, it's such a pity."

"well, that's all for me. g'night."

"ah love, are you leavin' us so soon? well godpseed to you love."

October 22, 2007 7:59 PM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Birdy-Girl! All that sounds pretty good ...but, but...HERSHEY's??? Baby-Bird, send me yore address so I can git ya some decent chocolate...wait, ain't they some famous chocolatier in SF??

I'se so delighted youse delighted wif' yore move.

October 23, 2007 6:42 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

oh yes - some very fine cholatiers are in san francisco.

the chocolate bar was an impulse buy at the grocery store check-out counter.

i often eat too much chocolate - so i've been cutting back - but this just got me.

we have: sees. joseph schmidt, godiva, and a whole host of others. enough to drive a choclate fancier crazy (and it often does).

but if you are truly compelled to send me chocolate, who am i to deny you the pleasure? ;)

how was your trip ab? i'll have to come by the front porch to see.

we need a west coast blogger summit. maybe in the spring?

who's up for that?

October 23, 2007 7:00 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

I loved your account of this part of your love story, love. The Irish aren't the only ones who can use the term, love.

You are a very fine writer.

I, too, had the willy-wallies about writing. In fact you can learn about my difficulty here.

I know you generally are not a coward. So get to it.

Once you have written it then we can figure out how to get published. That is my current issue.

BTW, I would be proud to edit anything you write.

Go for it bird, flap, flap, write, swoosh.

October 23, 2007 2:34 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Van the Man IS the most important ingredient for a Friday night!

October 24, 2007 3:59 AM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

bird - I'd love to go to Frisco and enjoy the Irish pubs... I'd also want some Ghiardelli (sp?) nonpareils!

btw, my post for today is about your city... come on by, love...

PS: met any more porn people?

October 24, 2007 8:13 AM  
Blogger boneman said...

There is a candy bar out there, I think it goes by the name of "Flash" but, it was so long ago, I don't really remember its name.
It crumbled on the first nibble, falling apart slowly in my mouth as if to find and fill every taste sensory thingie in me....
Got the darned thing at a gas station, fer cryin' out loud! They only had it the one time.
It was REAL :) chocolate.

Ah well. It seems like a dream to me now. Long past yet searched for to this day. 'Course, I can't begin to tell ya just how hard it is to ask for a candy bar that y'don't remember the name of....

October 25, 2007 11:13 AM  
Blogger boneman said...

Y'know, I just checked back t'see where y'all were, and, dang! I gotta tell ya, there's something I miss so bad from the area...
and, though it'll sound goofy, hey...what else would y'expect from a boneman?
I miss the smell of the fig trees.
When I was there in 2000, I actually picked a few dozen of them and brought them back to Indiana and would pull one out every once and a while....
Dang I miss that.

October 25, 2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger Crashtest Comic said...

cheer up--
it's my freaking birthday!

October 26, 2007 1:59 PM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

It just seems a nice place to be.

October 27, 2007 5:12 PM  
Blogger she said...

what's this? no new post? cause you are spending all your literary capital at the dog yard. God love ya boydie ....thanks so much....your poems are better than a percocet. xo

October 28, 2007 7:47 AM  
Blogger boneman said...

I'll bet a picture that she's kind'a right, that She gal,
You're probably working harder (city dwellings aren't cheap) but in any time you get free from the grind, I'll bet y'all are out there feeling the city.
In 2000, Haight/Ashbury didn't look like the pictures in Time/Life back in the late sixties/early seventies. (have I overdone/overused the slash mark limit back there?)(hope not/pray not)
Your writing seems to pull up visions of the city so easily, projecting them on the screen of m'brain.
'Course it helps that m'brain cavity has so much open spanse, eh.

So, I heard they finally bent to the boat owners of the area (actually, SPACE renters...)
and scared off the seals down by pier 39. Is it true?
Dang, I hope not. Last time I was there, there was this one seal that gave me directions to a great winery up in Sonoma....
Now I've gone and fergot the address, so I was going to have to ask trhe seal, again.....

November 02, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger david santos said...

My friend, Please!

Send an email to the Brazil embassj your country and repor the injustice that the brazilian courts are making with this girl
Release on Flavia’s accident and status of the process.

The resignation is to stop the evolution. (David Santos in times without end)

Thank you

November 03, 2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Yoo hoo!?! Bird Beauty, iffin' ya doan squawk up soon, I'se sendin' a sheriff to look fer ya'.

November 06, 2007 8:12 PM  

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