Ah, holidays! The last day of the four-day Presidents' Weekend, which included two days off of work (Thank you, my Presidents!), I planned a vacation-like outing across the bay to San Francisco. Thought I'd visit the new DeYoung Art Museum, but it's closed Mondays. So I thought I'd make North Beach my destination. Cafe' Trieste, a kind of shrine for writers since the days of the Beat Movement, has recently opened a coffehouse in Berkeley, and I'd visited that one Friday. Enjoying the quirky ambience--none of your Italian-marble tables and easy chairs here!--whetted my appetite to sit, sip, and write at the original North Beach location.

flowering tree at home

     Stepping out my front door, I felt the delicious infinity of a day to wander, a day without cares. A glorious, blue-sky day, too. The flowering tree on the hill I passed enroute to my car seemed a happy augury of my journey!

I Start, on BART

     Even if you don't live out this way, chances are 50/50, I'd say, that you've heard of BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). I don't know what's being said about it these days, but I love it. Part of what made this day a vacation was that I parked my car at the station (easier to do on a holiday!) and BARTed to and from the city. The small children I teach for my livelihood live the mythos of trains, almost to a person, and when each one comes to school one fine day proclaiming the news, "I went on a TRAIN", he or she most often means BART.

Montgomery Station

a poem written during the ride

Oh, to be a stranger in a strange city,
travelling with no destination,
at home inside myself
and looking, looking.

I don't know what I'd be looking for—
my eyes, my eyes,
the hills in the distance and white buildings
helping me find them, just like today.

A bay and a clear sky and a few palms,
people speaking some language I don't know,
but friendly, and a few I can talk to,
or maybe learning their language this time.

Oh, to be a stranger,
arriving for the first time
in the unknown
city of my own thoughts.

Montgometry Skyline

the view coming up the escalator,
Montgomery Station



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