Looking Down from the Mountaintop
from a balcony in the sky
under a bright California sun
onto the Santa Clara River Valley
nothing but peaceful lives
albeit a few troublemakers
small, one-story houses
street lights on Main Street
bumpy, curvy roads
tracks with an occasional train
small private biplanes
dotting the Santa Paula night
in my little Mexican town
where the letters, SP, are carved
into my forehead.
I Share my View with the Hawks, Doves
and great horned owls
with the working class, the common folk
who catch rabbits, shave the cactus
extract nuts from avocados
cook goat heads under ground
keep the tortillas warm
swing blindly at piñatas
family and friends with close-ties
whose heads are covered by canopies
sacrifice and celebrate, cherish and adore
in unity with everyone.
Stooping, Reaching, Crouching, Kneeling
migrant workers with big hats
working endless shifts in the heat of day
at packing houses, sorting and boxing
oranges and lemons
sleeping in small one-bedrooms
in tight quarters, home away from home
far from their loved ones
but as a consolation, they all know
that Cesar Chavez was by their side
fighting for their civil rights
as the memory of Steve McQueen flies high
the strength of the mountain surrounds
time and hope, hard work and sacrifice.
My Memories are like Granite
hard and firm, lasting forever
like the two statues
policemen on motorcycles
warning residents of the broken dam
that Mulholland built but didn't care
leaky and cracked
causing the great flood
to wash innocent lives and souls away
fallen trees, homes
covered and sunk to the bottom of the sea
destroying the strong and the solid
in the wounded soul of the Santa Clara River Valley.
Now I Sit Comfortably on my Balcony in the Sky
I watch my town grow and change
watch my favorite saddle shop close
watch the good Chumash Indians disperse
taquerias come and go, film studios long since left
a Starbucks, a fancy organic supermarket
drive thru's, take-outs
no matter how slow or fast things change
my sleepy little Mexican town remains
untouched by progress, immune to earthquakes,
impervious to it all.
Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on February 23, 2018:
Yes, it is. I go there often to visit my inlaws. They have a beautiful view of South Mountain. Thanks for your comment, Kari.
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on February 23, 2018:
Santa Paula seems like my kind of town. I love small towns with a good community!
threekeys on April 10, 2017:
That's an interesting fact!
Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on April 10, 2017:
Most people don't know that Santa Paula was the film capital of the world before Hollywood.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 10, 2017:
You wrote about so many people just attempting to survive difficult situations. Beautiful!
threekeys on April 10, 2017:
Thnak you for allowing me to visit your town. You gave me a beautiful hawk's overview and then flew me into the everyday reality of your lovely town. You sound happy and content.
Audrey Howitt from California on April 10, 2017:
This is a beautiful set--really well done