Category Archives: poems-Vancouver

Vancouver Revisited

A parking lot where once stood
My room with four walls.
A shopping plaza with smart shops
Do they still sell Black Forest chocolate cake?
The seagulls at Stanley Park
Larger and fatter
A new breed fed on french fries
And picnic lunches.
Granville Street now a pedestrian mall.
A 60,000 capacity Sportsdome
Dominates downtown.
The earth turns and some things seem new
No blame, no regrets, no problems
All things are possible in this universe.
As I pass the Public Library I catch
The gaze of a youth in a black duffle coat
With fire in his eyes.

Vancouver, B.C. — January, 1983

Pismo State Park

The place is inhabited by huge trailers and cars
And retired couples
Who look out from their mobile prisons
Never venturing out into the real outside.
One sees them on the roads, travelling
The mindless miles looking with glassy eyes,
They see the world as a sixty-miles-an-hour blur.

While I struggle with an air mattress
And putting two kids, who are running
Around the campsite with barebottoms
Shouting, “booty, booty”.

Pismo State Park, California — April, 1969

San Francisco Beach

Ever try writing something, anything
While on the beach?
Even on this broken-glassed
Cigarette-butted beach?
The cosmic forces still prevail.
I’ve come to this conclusion:
Happiness feelings come from within your body
And from natural sources like the sun
The trees, waves breaking on a beach
And never from material things
Unless they are fashioned by artists.

San Francisco, California — November, 1968

Birth and Death Pains

I’ve being going through birth/death pains
Death of the brilliant-type scientist, etc, etc,
Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
I feel deep stirrings of an ageless rhythm
Of pair-bonding, of sexuality
Of nakedness, of the hunt
I feel a fuzziness of the spine
I begin to look for my club
I begin to look for the members of my tribe
Beat the drums, call the tribal meeting
Something is going to be done
About GM, Westinghouse and DuPont
About big Business and big Government
Beat the tribal drum
Our psychic territory is being threatened.

Berkeley, California — November, 1968

A Huge Aside

The most important thing
I could do is to bring my mind
To a beautiful, free place.

I feel now that my career in science
Has been a huge ASIDE.

I started long ago on a Quest
For answers to a question not yet formed.
I thought Science
With its probing of the atom
Of biology
Knew something I had to know.

The MIND is where it is AT.

Still I’ve been changed
By the way I’ve travelled
And I must unchange these.

Berkeley, California — September, 1968

(While on a post doc at Berkeley)

Time to think

One must have time to think
In Amerika everything seems to be
Rushing blindly to meet some fate
Some hour in destiny
Some brief moment in eternity
And it is fun to run
But fun only if you have time
To think.

Vancouver, B.C. — September, 1968

Trip to the prairies by VW van

One takes many journeys in one’s lifetime
And essentially one travels alone.
I’ve just ended an academic journey that has taken
22 years to complete.
The final leg taking three years of obstacle courses.
One never returns from a journey the same as one started.
DAMM TOO MANY WORDS! Things are too up tight.
What I want to say is: I’ll quietly do my thing
Alone. What is my thing? The kind of a person
Who goes on trips as a challenge — what does
One end up with? — an accumulation of trips — Yes
I suppose what else is there — each new trip
Presents a challenge and as Ulysses I must go.
The more one travels, materially and emotionally
One learns to live for the moment — in each
Moment there is an eternity — TRIPE, TRASH, ZEN BUDDHISM.
In order to travel one must free oneself
One must be free to travel
I don’t mean a shallow, tourist-gaudy travel
But a deep, penetrating guttsy thrust.
The campfire is dying out
And the soft breezes sighs in the pines
More light, put more wood on the campfire
How many hang-ups do I have?
I’d like to think only a few
But that could be a hang-up too.

Skihist Park, B.C. — July, 1968