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Things I've Learned in California, a Poem

Updated on November 16, 2013

Learning Curve

People here try to repel wildlife.

I think they do.

California is peopled with fake rocks,

like some sort of Oompa Loompa land.

Gophers are much smaller than marmots.

From time to time, a merchant wind

rises along the lantana, releasing dust devils-

I wait for the land to speak to me;

every land has a voice...

Nothing is free except poop bags for your dog,

but only if you steal them from the better areas.

(I feel too guilty for this infraction!)

Churchgoers show lots of skin, but seldom smile.

People strive to look good, while not actually being good,

and being fat,(me) is worse than being a cracked out,

lying, vicious (yet thin) thief.

Gazanias, travelers from a distant land too,

open and close- earth sea anemones,

palms rustle, languid hula dancers as the aspect

from Hasley Canyon uncovers layer upon layer

of hills, a dreamy Kabuki, Japanese blue, receding,

Bad things can happen very quickly here, and too many

kindnesses, half given, money involved, corrode the soul.

Every one has problems.

Everyone is in a hurry.

Everyone is a hustler, a scammer..... almost

No one cares. Really.

At night, rosmary, crushed underfoot releases a

bracing scent...

I've looked at clouds arranged in perfect stripes;

a thing I've never seen-

striped tigers,

or the ribs of a massive beast

that swallowed me almost whole;

Home is

this moment,

these forlorn bones

can still look

for home.


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    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 4 years ago

      Intriguing poetry here!

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Hello guys; I'm on a new tiny computer and everything is o.k. Lost everything, house, inheritance, the home I paid for in the eighties. But; I've finally divoriced myself from the situation. I said. That's it. Have it all. My other Brother passed away with frostbite on his feet and backside, and Gus is down there stealing everything he made or owned.

      Enough of that! I love you guys- have missed you terribly! Please tell me how you are, Clark, Brenda, Nell, please let me know! Love yaz, sending my prayers.... lily

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi lily, just wondering how you were getting on these days? long time no see! nell

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      WhooHoo. It is so great to know you are okay. I cannot wait to catch up with you.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska


    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Beloved friend. Email will not go through. I do not have a phone number. Please contact me. I love you and miss you tremendously. hy

    • profile image

      moonfroth 4 years ago

      Some wonderful images of an oft-colder-than-alaska place that i know well. Keep putting their feet to the fire you kindle so well. Your fans and friends ad cyber-lovers all miss you. Raise your head from the earning of bread in the ghettos of downtown Santa Clarita and grace us with more of our hard-edged art. California NEEDS it. And so do we.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Suziecat! My second follower! I hope the old crew is well, if you see Hy, say hi. Thanks, love lily

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

      As usual, Lilyfly, you write down to the bones.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      I'm not hanging out. I'm working in Santa Clarita.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow! Where are you hanging out? Still... it makes a good poem.


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