The Flower Child

San Pedro Hostel. Flower Child. Saints.

Still no sign from Sot. I moved into a hostel in San Pedro and began frequenting the old fishery taverns in the working class neighborhoods. There was a young woman living in the hostel gathered flowers and wild herbs from parks and yards near sidewalks and vacant lots and sold them standing on street corners to drivers in cars waiting at red lights, seemed interested in godhood, wanted to be able to become invisible. One night, sitting out on the veranda of the big hostel house, we got to talking. It’s no good being invisible if you can’t walk through walls, I cautioned her. You could get locked inside some room. She wanted to talk about the Catholic saints and the Church Militant. The saints, she argued, now took the place of the old, debunked gods. The saints were invisible, but you could feel their presence. She said she had known a guy who had wanted to become a god so he could fly. He was not prepared for the dangers of modern day air travel and was sucked into an engine of a 747 on takeoff at LAX. He had been practicing flying at low altitudes from the dunes at Playa del Rey. I came to enjoy our evening talks on the veranda, then one day she suddenly disappeared, leaving no word.

“The Flower Child”
is episode 19 of
Ball Lightning
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.
(Click link for continuous, one page view of all episodes.)

A Shuck of Stone

When the lemon yellow of a doubtful flower tells lies
And the hush pink plum blossoms first fail to surmise
A touch and a kiss turn to stone.

When the steep turn toward the dark cherry dyes
And find winkle’s wake still seeping under the sash
A drink and a dress turn to stone.

To turn to stone is not to die and worm away
A stone never slept nor arose
A stone is a stone is a stone is a stone.

When knickknacks walk and talk and wingding
The livelong night no wonder
A flower turns to stone.

Hearths are made of stone, and wheels, and paths,
And walls, and dwellings, and churches, and busts.
A stone thrown skiffles across water and plops.

When a shuck of stone falls from the sky
Not a soft place on the land to nest
A tempest has turned to stone.

When in spring one feels petrified
Curl and pit and weigh and hurl
Slink and creep and push and pull.

When the angels of spring go stone
Old stones erupt in new waves
And lyrical flowers woe no bloom.

November Day Along the River

How are you? You are how
this is too easy
a still gift of photographs
almost like a real letter.

You like flowers, flowers like you, like
Peonies, purple green red yellow mopped hair
Marigolds, red orange bites
Red geraniums in a real clay pot
and those little white hanging threading flowers,
I don’t know their name, whispery white.

I am 1,000 characters
all so small you can’t see them
like tiny little squiggly bugs.
You are 1 bodacious character
like a lobster on the ocean floor under
blue waves under an orange sky,
or a swell cat, an orange tabby
with blue eyes,
who never scratches but purrs
and curls in your lap for a nice nap
on a hot sunny summer day,
a sleepy breeze cooling powdery sky.
Evening comes and a glass of white or red wine
and dinner and the sun goes down
and the moon comes up
up and up and up and up
so the path is lit.

But now is not summer
now is the beginning
of a long winter
without you.