San Francisco, 1969 (childhood)
Ghirardelli chocolate, roasting coffee beans, honey-drenched baklava with cinnamon and pistachios pulled from the baker’s oven, sour-dough loaves rising, clam chowder, crabs, the wet salt bay
sea gulls call, cable car bells ring, “Next stop!”, and a dozen tourists jump off onto the green by the square beside the wharf where the bongos play, and they dance, dance, dance, the women with the hips and the skirts and the halter tops–or no tops at all–and the boys throw frisbees, and the dogs roll on the grass, and everyone has bare feet, except the cops who look the other way when the hippies light up and the acrid burning smell of sweet strong weed flows around the tourists and the women and the hippies and the kids and the dogs and the bongo players play more loudly
What do want? PEACE! When do we want it? NOW!
At the Fillmore, Bill Graham presents Credence Clearwater Janis Joplin Jimmy Hendrix Fleetwood Mac Jefferson Airplane Grateful Dead Live and On Stage and Krips conducts the symphony at the War Memorial Opera House
And the fountains flow, everywhere.
At the entrance to the alley, the sour-smelling old man sits on yesterday’s Chronicle, his legs sprawled across the headline, “Mission to the moon, halfway there”. He clasps his paper bag closely as he mumbles something rude to the girl in the red-and-white checked dress clinging to her mother’s hands. “Don’t look. Keep walking.”
“Why is he poor? Is he hungry?”
Out of the window of the mansion on the corner of Columbus and Beach a golden statue of Buddha gazes at the world without concern.
But it’s off to the park where the guitar is playing and more women are dancing and that scent again, that acrid sweet burning scent, and the dogs are running in the fountains and the girl kicks off her shoes and joins them. This is what the summer was like.
Why don’t you go back?
Earth, the sun, the stars have moved.
Not there anymore.
Daily Prompt (which was, for me, more inspiration than instruction): “Write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live,” from the Na/GloPoWriMo site.