Beneath the power lines at that preserve
I rested halfway up, and heard below
The freeway traffic on its evening flow,
When on the lift of a whirlwind nerve
Blowing over the ledge, a goshawk flew
Flapping, with a glide, into canyon oak.
Then it seemed the wilderness awoke,
Though not in sylvan images I knew
For above me, once the bird had flown,
That metal tower shook, a cable noised,
As if with intuition it would differ
That mysteries defer to woods alone.
And so I reconsidered, spirit poised,
Then listened to that road as to a river.
The Angels flew over downtown this week,
Under truce of the San Francisco noon:
"Can't miss this," cooed my hair stylist,
Drawn outside his shopfront on Columbus
Into a civilian congregation
Of clients, clerks, panhandlers, lawyers
Spellbound by the sounding in the sky.
A dull roar from the north, then a rumbling
In the wind, dying in dry, hissing blasts.
The boom economy stood sunward,
Eyes shielded against the silicic
Architecture of the market, splendor
Blinding as blown glass; when a reflected
Formation took shape on the Bay,
Machinery flying straighter than nature,
Past the Crocker Branch, past the Monkey Block
Become Transamerica Pyramid,
A militant hallucination
Vindicating hatreds of the spirit.
(Reverend Barclay, keeper of the tongue,
Said: "I have visions fiery to burn
The world down to purpose," prophesying
On the rock at Point Sur, just as here,
From the roof of BofA, a banker
Shouts to all, "Here they come!") Inspiration
Is no less destructive than aggression,
And aggression no less inspiring
Than a poem. Below the siege of Angels
The Pacific yields to the surging Bay,
Meeting the Sierra aqueducts
Emptying life from the Mokelumne
To irrigate the spirit of the land.