cicLAvia March 2015

At first, it was cold and overcast. Before long, after many handless level roadways and one fun downhill over the 101, people emerged. One woman crossing the Ventura intersection with no shoes, wrapped in a blanket, called out “Why are you coming from that way?” I thought, “Why wouldn’t I be?” but passed too fast to answer.

So many sights of beautiful bikes in flat black, deep down sparkling gold, pinks, white, and silver. Different bells and booming music and voices. Scents of tomato sauce, grilled onions, pastries, and patchouli. Dogs in backpacks and on shoulders; babies in handlebar seats; sunflowers emerging from bags and helmets; street art painted, stenciled, stickered, pasted; random dudes giving me open palms for me to smack with enthusiastic force; three cyclists getting running starts to climb two-tiered mutant bikes; two drunk and insistent cyclists offering me bottles of IPA that I later dumped in a bus stop trash can due to the LAPD presence.

Seven hours later, I laid down next to my dog and replayed the wonder of people reclaiming the asphalt for pedestrian and pedal mobility. Most of all, I paint the bicycles cruising, parked, tethered around lampposts, awaiting friends at the valet, and maneuvering joyously through an uncommon course.
                                                                               Save Me From Myself

Your eyes
But your hand--
so fixed and sure and loving.
Securing my cheek,
fingers hidden. Unseen
delicate tendrils entwining digits
to keep you there,
just there. Save me

Anchoring your forearm to
hold you in this space
looking to you.
It began with longing, then the trust of a savior.
Save me.

Our innate selves
relinquish and
synthesize between
breast bones.

I doubt that anyone,
even you,
can save me from myself.
But I would love
I will love
for you to try.

1-29-15, titled after and inspired by a drawing by Giancarlo Memije

So much meaning in this ever-evolving atmosphere: cool, moist & overcast. Moderately warm and still. Large cold raindrops stinging my face...numerously, wonderfully. So much heaven on this earth. Brown pelicans bring all sense of movement to a standstill when they waft north. I salute them, barely blinking my eyes, marvel as they skirt cliffs in small v-formations and cast flickering celluloid shadows onto cliff faces. Grace defined. Heads tucked back, pterodactyl wings indifferently outstretched.

Crows that are usually paired foreground dense white clouds. Desert-like cliffs undulating against varying cloud. Light gray, dark blue, light blue with dense white mushrooming, ever-evolving moisture. A lone egret alights and waits on a mountain’s edge. Its neck plumes wave in a slight breeze. I hold my breath to catch that moment in still shot as it heads north, tired of my gaze and wonder and approach. Rocks slanted toward the east seem to have been placed there by an artist’s hand: gray with ringlets of orange and paintbrush streaks of white. So much beauty! True, wild beauty that does not analyze, disappoint, speak directly, make rational decisions.

At the moment that has not been for as long as I can reach back. There, stands utterly alone, a great blue heron. I tiptoe toward it so carefully. Barely breathing. Photograph it every four to five steps. Carefully. “Please, don’t go. Please, do not go.” “Please, don’t go. Please, please, pleeeeeese do not go. I won’t hurt you...” I plead with the universe. It faces me. For at least 12 beats, it gives me a chance. Then resolves, instinctually, and gallantly, to head north. I watch it wistfully and happily as it lands near sunbathing cormorants.

I wade into the cold, dunk my head. How painfully I have forgotten the saltiness of the Pacific. It alarms before it comforts. Beneath the surface: a spider crab’s skull; countless coral skeletons; snails in purple, white, and orange shells; an unknown creature--white and spongy with hard white cheek bones. So much is clear now. Even if so many natural mysteries remain mysteries.