Volcano Pilgrim
Five months in Japan as a wandering poet

San Francisco, 2

What goes into the making of a good mood? A mild hangover with no shame, nothing said or done to regret.


           Drank one too many

                      slept through to the afternoon

                                 So who’s the wiser?


The herbs that San Francisco grows in the most unlikely places, in parks, along the footpaths, here a shrub of rosemary, there a tuft of wild fennel. The stencil of a red hummingbird on the sidewalk:


The stencil of two hands, thumbs and first fingers together, holding the shape of a heart:


In the coffeeshop someone is playing the old upright piano, a jaunty, jazzy little number. A woman’s voice joins in, following close beside the melody, and you drift along with the music for several timeless minutes before it occurs to you to look over.  You are pleasantly taken aback to see that singer and accompanist are the same person, a girl in jeans and a tracksuit top, skatting and noodling to a tune that starts nowhere and goes nowhere definite, and not a single note of which is sad.


           Girl and piano

                      making the sound of water

                                 over the pebbles





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