It’s near two hundred days since I slouched atop green Bernal Hill,
Dismissing the dogs drooling over my “Progressive Grounds” wrap.
I watched with increasing heavy heart the planes fly towards SFO,
Doleful omens that my own flight home grew ever nearer.
Now, finally, my next pilgrimage is as close as the last,
But it might as well be another two hundred years as days;
With the city again in the grip of World Series fever,
I yearn to bask beneath the evening city’s orange glow.
So much I miss about this cool, gorgeous, dirty, expensive place.
The soulful song of the foghorns out across the Golden Gate.
That heart stopping moment when you crest the hill at Hyde
And pier, park and prison under a pristine sky come into view.
Community singing with Elvis and Snow White in Club Fugazi
Before following Casady, Kerouac and Ginsberg to Vesuvio Cafe
Where I sit beneath James Joyce with a glass of Anchor Steam.
Bowing dutifully to Emperor Norton as he leads his latest star-struck
Subjects round the now scrubbed and polished Barbary Coast.
Standing on stairways in Sunset and Bernal,
Gazing open-mouthed as Karl the Fog weaves his moody magic,
Slicing Golden Gate Bridge and Sutro Tower in half before
Rendering them clear and whole again in a heartbeat.
Mouthing along to “O Mio Babbino Caro”
While wrestling a ristretto at Caffe Trieste.
Devouring warm, thickly buttered popovers by the Pacific
Among the toffs and tourists at the Cliff House.
Scouring for the latest tie-dye tees in still heady Haight.
Getting through a minor novel on the F Streetcar as it
Clanks and clatters down Market and along Embarcadero.
Savouring the scents of jasmine and lemon on the backyard patio.
Marvelling at the Mission murals and their passion and exuberance
Reassures me this changing city still harbours an independent spirit.
Sharing stories of Dead concerts at Lyceum and Fillmore
In the line for breakfast at Martha’s on Church,
Where the Blackpool boat tram glides past and waves
Its bunting at “Lovejoy’s” ladies taking tea and tiffin.
Shovelling down “Gilroy’s” garlic fries at the ballpark before
The circling seagulls, mindful of each innings slipping away,
Prepare to swoop to reclaim their birthright.
Watching a liquid sun decline over the serene lagoon
Of the soon to be centurion Palace of Fine Arts,
What better resting place after the Lyon Street Steps descent?
And breathing a sigh of relief as the recycling police
Leave me alone for yet another week.
These and many more images flood my brain.
But never mind.
For now at least, there’s more baseball torture to
Endure from afar in the dark of the night.