The Skating Rink at Justin Herman Plaza
Homeless people and drug addicts roam
the park’s concrete and granite sward.
In the shadow of City Hall
they settle to eat and sleep
beneath slender manicured trees.
Tourists take pictures. Food trucks at lunch.
To the right is the Federal Building,
for congressional representatives, federal courts. Snipers
on that roof when the governor attended
celebration of California’s amendment
to protect women choosing abortion.
This month, the stretch of concrete
Is laid with pipes and wires.
Becomes a skating rink.
This town where snow never falls.
Air only drops below freezing in a blue moon.
Old, experienced immigrants from colder climes
twirl and slide.
Millennials and young children in red scarves,
laugh and fall.
I heard ice crack and groan
on the dark frozen ponds of my childhood.
Feared the unseen depths
below shifting three-foot ice.
We put on the storied face around family
and holidays. The truth is more slippery
Fires Burn in Paradise
The San Francisco morning sky
is dirty dish-water,
texture of floating flour dust,
smell of burning electrical wires.
At our coast, silver mist and fog
flows, ebbs, streams.
This matte beige air is thick
Code Red Air Quality looks like this.
Up north, firefighters and neighbors battle, flee.
I sip my lapsang souchong tea,
now disturbed by its smoky taste.
Published in the Weekly Avocet #314 December, 2018
Shaker Lemon Pie
Maceration: to squish
the sun-yellow slices of lemons
with sugar, salt and time
until new flavors are released
by biochemistry of plasmodesmata.
That’s me, steeped and churned
by submerging in words,
poems, dreams and memories.
May mine —spooned out,
baked in sonnet pie,
flash frozen into tart fiction,
surprise you with a simile.