Poetry Corner: San Francisco

I’ll put the Chinatown and Japantown poems together, although I don’t have a photo of either one. The photo is from the Japanese Tea Garden.

San Francisco, Sutter and Webster

DSCF4788The street signs are in Japanese here,
new buildings finished with wooden accents
In front of one store, pink flowers,
a tree tended carefully
Amid the noise of engines and brakes, hurrying people,
all the chaos of the city,
this small corner of peacefulness


San Francisco, Stockton and Broadway

A bus stop
surrounded by voices I cannot interpret,
signs I cannot read in shops selling things
I barely recognize
A woman sitting on the sidewalk does calligraphy,
holding large sheets of paper down with her feet, against the wind,
as she draws her elegant, perfect strokes
an American flag juts from some anchor near her collar, incongruously
reminding me what country we’re in
On the bus, moving slowly as molasses
(if molasses had stinking exhaust and bad shocks)
a wave of sound hits us:
a siren down one street,
a rat-a-tat of drums in front of some official building,
and we all turn, every head, every wondering voice in its own language,
to see what’s going on,
curiosity, that very human thing

Poetry and photography ©2013 Michelle M. Welch


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