Concrete Poems: 384 / 500

Two California Parks In Early Spring

Rating: 3.3

I. Concord Skateboard Park

Sheltered in this smooth, round,
concrete nest of dips and curves,
obelisks and giant, Mayan steps

on a blind corner
hidden by small hills
from two busy streets
intersecting at its tip,

Twenty boys,8 to 18,
practice their moves,
swiveling one-pointedly
up and down and around.

Some day they’ll move on
from this birthing-ground,
swiveling down the decades
on a board or office chair.

A few girls watch,
Sprawled on the grass.
Behind them all,
flowering crabapples, palms,
then the mountains.

The city’s wise to have
invested a few bucks
toward its future
in an old, vacant lot.

II. A Chant To Heather Farms Park

Sun of fire,
water of lake and fountain,
earth whose soil sustains the lawns,
and air of the sweet breath of spring:
the four elements are holding
a conclave here on this Sunday afternoon,

drawing many families,
and especially, today,
calling forth many sounds.

Oh, park of a basketball's steady bounce,
of lovers whispering in Russian
and the creaking rhythm of swings.

Park of car engines starting,
of families who laugh or talk
in Hindi, Bengali, English, Arabic,
and in goose-squawk and duck-flap,

Park of the slide of scooter wheels,
of loud feet chasing the one
who caught the football,
of a hand tapping the body of a guitar,
and a far-off, hip-hop radio.

Silent with pen,
o park of joy,
I take you home on paper,
I take you home in my heart.

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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Linda Ori 18 June 2006

Max - a beautiful and peaceful write. Like lying in the grass with closed eyes and just being aware of the sounds that engulf you. Very visual but also very musical to the ear. Thanks for the vacation! Linda

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Gina Onyemaechi 16 February 2006

I love the happy, celebratory tone of this poem, Maxy. Happy you! Have a 9 for singing so jolly! Warmly, Gina.

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Mahnaz Zardoust-Ahari 16 February 2006

Very nice Max, you took me there!

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