Old rusted out shipyards

from Parley Noyo and the Oyster Bard.

Read at the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition Art and Literature Gala, April 10, 2021

Old rusted out shipyards
where the lumber schooners docked
and coal trains pulled in and out
of elongated, angular platforms
bisecting main streets at 29 degrees
altered carbon
altered gravity
altar of worker’s sainthood

now martyred and lamented
another hotel erected
and newcomers to the sea
enamored like we once were to
behold a sea full of glass rage
their rust, the organ pipes
bell chimes Amazing Grace in town square
you coal miner, you logger, you truck driver
you school teacher, you storekeeper
you tugboat skipper and deckhand too,
you fisherman, you fisherwomen,
you salt earth creature,
you knower of tides and wind chimes
you watcher and keeper of hummingbirds
you defender of deep groaning whale
you who wander out regardless of gale force warning
you keeper of docks and boats, anchor polisher
you unhoused keeper of blankets,
you beggar, starving, poor
you meek, you humble, you deranged and enchanted
all the more for you
who were lost but now found

in the toll of bells, ringing

Rising. Rising!

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