Berkeley Vacation (DAY 2)fter my pre-dawn walk along the berkeley rails and a

Cali Day 2

West Berkeley Agitprop

West Berkeley Agitprop

Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 1:39am

Early am photo safari around west berkeley & the rails: sad the destruction of graffitti by gentrification now forclosed

As has been my pattern since the kids were wee, I’ve always gone out for walks or exercise before they woke or after they went to sleep.  I remember exploring Sunnyside and woodside when they were babies and I visited NY with them.  This vacation I woke before anyone and walked around my old neighborhood.  I walked to 4th stret, teh trendy shopping district of Betty’s Ocean View that sprung up in 92, but is now bloated and long inthe tooth.  I went to the Albany Bulb and walked around the racetrack but avoided UC Village, which is so gone now. I wish that I had the time to  go on, but hopefully later I will.

John from easy street, paradise

A little gray-bearded man announced himself that way to me on McGee Street on Saturday morning.

Backyard flower safari/
Three big girls of 7/
And a toddler brother/
Pressed aphids & buds/

We sat in the comfy livingroom/
While the kids played out in the yard/
We sat nustled in the familiar memories/
Of the time when they were too wee to be alone/

The two previous stanzas were keyed in right after we had a wonderful afternoon with Noel and Joellen and all of our kids running in and out & playing with the recently departed Buster.  The bigger kids eavesdropped on the adult conversations, but the little ones could have cared less what we were doing (except when they needed us for something).

Two sets of rails/
By the homeless/
In the morning/
Little train at night/

The day started with my predawn perambulations around the tracks and warehouses that remain in West Berkeley.  By first light most of them are empty, though still warm.  Interestingly, they seem less fecal and dangerous than I remember them from when I lived there before.  There were way fewer bicycle parts too, so perhaps they are less larcenous.  That night we went on the little train in Tilden park which is, to paraphrase Rocky Horror, a different set of rails.  It was so nice for me to see both of them in the same day.  I love it when the world ties together disparate strands of my soul.  The kids still laugh when I mock fear of the tunnel on the Redwood Railroad (only Lennox beleives it).

Albany bulb pheonix
Of graffitid rubble
Homeless encampments
Embellished into popart

We went to albany bulb/
The Bay area landfill/
Where the homeless created/
Art on the crumbled surfaces/

Highways made into land/
A rough primative landscape/
With plinths and columns breaking/
Out from the hardscrabble ground/

The wonder of the vagrant community/
The forced intimacy of ostracization/
That can make a two pound jar of peanut butter/
Obeisance and sustanance worth celebration/

Archtypall community/
Lost entirely to the well-to-do/
Lives around campfires of rubbish/
On the bulb made into art/

Fire-pits and shelters decorated/
In the manner of homer and hopi/
Cro-magnons and vikings huddled/
In their decorated hovels and loopholes/


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