Saturday, October 23, 2010

More About River City

Photo by Kathy Kieth, Pollock Pines

MEMORY LANE IN RIVER CITY                       
—Janet Pantoja, Woodinville, WA

I used to live in Sacramento . . .
city of many trees and two rivers—
where salmon run and the American
and Sacramento converge at Discovery Park.

I used to live in the Capital of California . . .
a thriving city derived from gold discovery—
where Sutter's Fort and Old Sacramento
memorialize that era.

I used to live in the Central Valley . . .
where summer temperatures soar
to triple digits and ice cream beckons—
at Gunther's or the CA State Fair, now Cal Expo.

I used to live in Sacramento . . .
home to the Memorial Auditorium, Music Circus,
the once magnificent Alhambra Theater—
usurped by progress—and all that jazz in Old Sacramento.

I used to live in Sacramento . . .
before Hwy. 50 was super-finished, Arco Arena or Light Rail,
when Country Club Centre boomed with business—
Rhodes, Woolworth's, Leed's Shoes, Montgomery Wards—
and the Coral Reef Restaurant was open on Fulton Ave.

I used to live in the Arden-Arcade area . . .
in the "Garden of the Gods" on Orion at Pluto—
a 1965 grad. from El Camino H.S. before it was fundamental—

when C.S.U.S. was Sac. State, before the Woodlake Inn
became the Radisson, or the Sacramento Inn the Red Lion.

I have many memories of Sacramento . . .
when calls were dialed on Princess rotary phones
through Pacific Bell—the only phone company—
Sac. Metro. Airport was on Freeport Blvd., a brand
new bridge crossed the American River at Watt Avenue,
President Kennedy was assassinated and the Beatles
appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.   


—Tom Goff, Carmichael

The Roseville Galleria set on fire:
sky, beside smoke, a pale seawater.
The music of an underwater choir:

lips open, Jesu’s Joy or Mammon’s Desire,
lungs fill and mother chokes the daughter.
The Roseville Galleria set on fire,

ink black enough, the squid can flee the fighter.
What fire sale is no butcher slaughter?
No music but an underwriter’s choir

soothsinging profit salvaged from the pyre,
this handbag, ash and yogurt batter
left by the Roseville Galleria fire,

arson to blame and useless to inquire:
hold him gently by wrist, flame heats young minds hotter,
so sing we all, one underwater choir.

The freight-train groans as forest crown burns higher,
Hamlet’s cloud-weasel Ophelia’s father.
After the Roseville Galleria fire,
soft music, “bare ruined choir” heard underwater.


Two inmates escaped from Folsom Prison
    quite possibly the car thief and the drug violator
    found something in common and fell "in love"
    and then agreed "We've got something else to do
    other than be livin' out the Johnny Cash blues in here"
    and decided together to bust the joint,
    to go hit the road as two traveling tough guys
    Let us pray that maybe these two minor felons
    go out and cause trouble for really big criminals
    such as the kind that run this country

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento


—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento
subdued this day,
the color of pewter
tranquil under pale blue skies
she meanders past skeletons
of old trees, roots exposed
lining her banks—
a testimony to her tantrums

past the heavy wooden picnic benches
past the feral cats hiding in the long grasses
past the birds asleep in the breeze

a houseboat quietly floats by
as tiny waves nudge the shore
rippling the rocky edges

serenity restored
she is subdued this day meandering . . .


Today's LittleNip:

Unless we read poetry, we'll never have our hearts broken by language...

—Anatole Broyard



Photo by Kathy Kieth