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Industry's Shore

dreamed 2008/9/24 by Wayan.


Work dawn to dusk. Add other poets to
the World Dream Bank. Scan, edit, tap code
for others' odes. No creative work, no fun,
not even rest. No, wait, I did take one
break. I basement-hunkered with my bike:
clanged and swore an hour. Black oily grit.
O caveman holiday! Then back to it.


Watercolor sketch of a dream by Wayan of a huge stump in a vacant lot; brick buildings in distance
I'm driving out a three-mile cape
I've never seen before,
from San Francisco east into the Bay.
Its barren north shore
was quarried long ago. Shale cliffs, red grit--
topsoil all industriously stripped
till the bust, postwar.

Factories whistle windowless now, due
to rock-toss ventilation. High-tech
firms fixed a few, and Kaiser built a new
clinic on a bluff. The old shoreline track,
hulking on black trestles round the cliffs,
now is light rail. But the few homes still
look sad and trashed--six decades in eclipse.

I snake up a hillroad out of the red
dead zone, into the cape's steep heart.
Weedy lots, stumps and rusty cars;
then dells hiding trees with bulbous trunks
and sudden palmlike crowns of dark
feathery cedar needles. The next grove's
taller, looming leap! Till as we near
the south shore we're

craning our necks in amaze; these
crazy trees rise a hundred yards or more!
Give even redwoods a run for the sun.
Endemic: only here.

This is wrong. My native readers know.
Green in the south, but a dry north shore?
True, in Frisco cloud-woods grow
next door to sunny chaparral. But north
slopes get more rain and fog than south.

So the northern blight's not microdrought!
It's us. Well, evil grandpas. Up until
the Gold Rush, giants jostled wall to wall

But loggers cut them all, all
they could cheaply reach and haul,
then sold the ravaged soil.

Rains and patient mist'll surely lure
climax back. But while I breathe? Ah, no.
Titans massacred for miles take more
than human span to grow.

Watercolor sketch of a dream by Wayan of a huge tree with mangrovish buttresses, redwoodish trunk, and spruce-colored crown.

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