Friday, August 22, 2014

San Francisco Street Poetry — The Land Itself

Having left Chicago in June for a summer tour of America it is appropriate that upon arriving in San Francisco that we found a poem about the land itself.

The poem — The Land Itself — and mural — Native California — are two of many at the Leonard R Flynn Elementary School on Cesar Chavez Street in The Mission District that we will look at.

The Land Itself

it is the land itself that has me,
the lay of it, a sensuous shape
like someone sleeping under a green blanket.
the community of species is home
and extended family. I need to see redbud
and ceanothus blooming in the spring.
I need to see live oak country with its rolling hills
and meadows covered in blue lupine
and golden poppies. I fall in love with places
but home is always the same place,
the blackberry brambles and dry bracken
lined with frosts, sorrel and trillium
under the towering redwoods.
I love everything that lives there,
the soft-eyed salamanders as much
as the deer and quick little foxes.
I could be anywhere along the coast
feeling the wind against my face,
exulting in the smell of vegetation.
Even the stones talk to me, jasper and serpentine,
obsidian and quartz. Sandstone thrusts up
in sedimentary layers along the road:
its jagged bands speak a language
older than anything human.

— Sandra Dausmann

The Bar None Group strives to give proper credit whenever possible. Unfortunately, we could find no information on the poet of The Land Itself, Sandra Dausmann other than her name at the end of the poem. While we were able to place the title of the mural as Native California we could not locate the artist's name on the mural or online. If readers can help us shine the spotlight on the poet or muralist please enlighten us by leaving a comment.

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