i still have flowers in my hair–


when i wake, i’m
never sure if it’s a dream,
still to be dreamt or
gone already,

i read Job, an early morning,
in a hotel bed in San Francisco,
the sheets smell musty,

& i think, i didn’t feel her heart yet,

maybe pieces of it,
single beats, that pound against my chest,
then i lose them
in the traffic or in cappuccino puddles
on the sidewalks,

what are mortals anyway
that you check up on them,
see how they’re doing.

i’m sure you know the name
of the homeless last night,
curled between two parking meters
on the boardwalk.
i stared, tears in my eyes,

wind in my hair, as i step carefully
upon her golden shining womb
that stretches in a grasp for a hold

into the city, stabilized by thick ropes,
looking fragile from afar,
but aren’t, with each step sink deeper in-
to her beauty, gasp for breath,

& get lost,
even though there’s only
two directions,
(which is true for most in life)

& if i knew how to make love to her,
i would’ve.

———–this she knows–


had a great weekend in San Francisco.. def. a city to fall in love with..and a city full of contrasts as well…the “what are mortals anyway” stanza are excerpts from Job 7, 17+18…and i’m linking up with dVerse OpenLinkNight where we sometimes wear flowers in our hair or sing or just bathe in poetry…def. a party you shouldn’t miss..smiles.. doors open at 3pm EST..


72 responses to “i still have flowers in my hair–

  1. Oh, you’ve done my heart a good turn with this one. San Francisco one of my favorite places. The flow is gorgeous and your thoughts pour into my mind like memories. Thank you!

  2. oh, neat description Claudia. I’ve never been there, but the way you chose the wording here, I can see the Golden Gate. Lots of really strong social statements here as well, outstanding on a number of levels. Great read. thanks

  3. I love the way you personify the city, its allure and mystery. You brought back my own nostalgia for that city, which was the first city I explored in the USA, and the first city I explored as a young adult. You could say it was my first love from your poetic perspective. 🙂

    • I agree/ Hope’s candle must flicker on in us children born in a very special time/ I keep running into non-hopeful cruel ones this election time, uninspired & loveless/ and I’m unsure how to deal with their dour, sour POVs, If I’ve finally bumped into these “undecided” the press goes on & on about, I hope they stay home.
      sorry for the rant/ Keep on, Claudia/ I love yr expressings

  4. I love SF and this poem, cappuccino puddles. The homeless are awful to see there. A lot. Partly I think because the city doesn’t hassle them so much and the climate’s bearable and certain thinkers about the law and mental health rules. One feels terrible but the city is still beautiful. Wonderfully expressed. Job especially interesting –Jobs a big force there! K

  5. Dear Claudia

    I love this poem! I find the imagery amazing, and the rythm, and the stops …

    Congrats *simone*

    On 6 November 2012 05:46, jaywalking the mo

  6. smiles….beautiful…love the heart and spiritual in this…the thoughts on god in relation to us…the homeless of course…they are near to my heart…and who are we…well obviously something a little special you know…smiles….travel well my friend…

  7. I can easily imagine you with flowers in your hair. Hopefully you got to the Haight? The city is my favourite place in the entire county. My children and I have many fond memories there. Thanks for tossing a flower this way. Loved the poem!

  8. Beautiful imagery of a city where people used to wear flowers in their hair. Sad to see the homeless sleeping rough. Would bring tears to my eyes too. Lovely poetry Claudia. Yes, travel well.

  9. You know what? There are two cities in the States that I definitely have to visit before I die. One is New York (Sandy notwithstanding) and the other one is San Francisco. I’ve heard so many tales about it and have the opportunity to meet people who have either lived or stayed there. Many thanks for this musical poem (for that’s what it was to me). I loved your attention to the little details (the homeless being one).

    Greetings from London.

  10. Claudia, it sounds like you DID experience the heart of San Francisco. I was there once in summer and was actually surprised how cold it was then. I had expected heat and ended up buying a warm sweatshirt from an illegal vendor on one of the bridges, the kind who scurry out of sight when the police near. I hope you had an opportunity to do the cable cars! Despite the homeless, I do think you have made love to this fine city in your poem, brought it to life, preserved the memory for another day. Your poem is a reminder to always keep those flowers in one’s hair. I enjoyed the way you worked Job into this poem. Definitely applicable to modern life!

  11. Claudia…
    You still have flowers in your hair.
    And a lightly-sprinkled feathery softness on your skin
    which sometimes briefly changes to tiny goose-bumps.

    Sounds as if you enjoy San Francisco, a “Do-it or don’t”, “Come–or go” kinda town. with everything other cities have–and more!

    If you ever in Florida…please, you call me–Bri has my number. (He really DOES–grin!)


    (Glad some read those bibles ensconced in hotel rooms…besides me!)

  12. Beautiful verse Claudia! ‘Frisco has that certain lure that pulls, the ‘Gate bridge, Cable Car,undulating streets,Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and others that make it unique! ( and countless seals lazing on platforms at Fisherman’s Wharf when we were there even) Nicely Claudia!


  13. You sure brought the city to life making it a person in all it’s sights. Maybe one ay the cat will visit that shore, until then he’ll just listen to you explore.

  14. I so love traveling with you to all these wonderful places, I feel, after reading your words, that I have been there. Beautifully written, and I love the image of you waking with flowers in your hair.

  15. Wow, that one place I haven’t visited yet. But, you make sound like a place to make sure I don’t miss the next time I’am near that part of California

  16. Very hard, difficult, these contrasts, of hotel beds and homeless people, cold in side walks. That there is beauty in pain—that there ought to be such a thing—is painful indeed. But we move on. Seen and unseen. Thanks for sharing this, Claudia.

  17. Plucking two verses from Job, you juxtapose them against the grainy truth of San Francisco and make me consider, compare, contrast the plight of characters both biblical and literal. I love the way literature and scripture and life itself entwine and enlighten.

  18. As always you takes us into a city not around her…I really want to go there now…another wonderful poem and I just love the photo.

  19. Could you give me hints on this one.

    When you say “i didn’t feel her heart yet,”
    who is “her”
    You read “Job” (? the Bible) — Job is a man.

    “upon her golden shining womb”
    — is that San Fran?
    So you didn’t feel San Fran’s heart yet? Why not?
    How would you?

    I found this very tough for me to follow.

  20. Virginia Woolf said, “I read the book of Job last night, I don’t think God comes out well in it.” You’re poem reminded of it…love VW, and your piece!

  21. Aw, Claudia, how you have taken me back!!! Have been to San Francisco once many years ago with husband and son, though son would never remember as he was “in utero”at the time! I loved everything about the city, the cable cars, Fisherman’s pier, Chinatown, the mission district, the Pacific ocean. We stayed in a little hotel near Union Square that turned down the bed each night and left a Ghirardelli chocolate mint on the pillow. I’ve held onto all these images, so that here more than 25 years later I can still picture the garden by the mission, the seals laying on rocks in the last golden rays of the sunset, the huge span of the Golden Gate,the stark contrast of Alcatraz sitting out in the choppy waters of the bay. Truly an amazing place to visit, and you have embraced and captured it so well. Thank you for sharing this!

  22. Oh, this is beautiful from start to finish. Especially the angled approach your descriptions take whilst being crystal clear.

    into the city, stabilized by thick ropes,
    looking fragile from afar,
    but aren’t, with each step sink deeper in-
    to her beauty, gasp for breath,

    As good as it gets, I’d say as are the final three lines. Very moving.

  23. At first, I had difficulty identifying the image until your words made it clear. Every place has its up and downs, made abundantly clear in the hills of San Fran, the bridge and the woman caught between the meters of life. I love how you bind multiple layers of metaphor into your work.

    I enjoyed reading this, Claudia, as I do all your poetry.

  24. Claudia, you really have a knack for titles, I’m always eager to see what else will spill out onto the page after I savor the title 🙂 And you did not disappoint, cappuccino puddles–the strings of the golden gate–I love that city too, one of my favorites, especially in the early morning mist–you can almost disappear…

  25. Great choice of title Claudi… and all through the rhymes and reasons of this love affair… enjoyed the virtual visit. I loved SF when I was there..15 years ago now 🙂

  26. Mortals. I heard someone say that there are no role models, just role mortals. I believe that for sure.

    Perfect title. And I’ve been there, but no flowers in my hair. Did buy a beautiful flowered skirt there :-).

  27. A beautiful and loving capture of a unique place. She will make love to you, I think. Her essence isn’t something that ever fades either-forty years later I still remember her details like a lover. Glad you got to spend some time in the beating liberal heart of our country, where being different is a way of life to celebrate, not exterminate. Lovely poem, Claudia. (The homeless were there in 1971 too–it’s the climate.)

  28. So much to love in this poem! I’m very familiar with SF. The Job references work well bearing in mind the large homeless population. Indeed, a city full of contrasts. Nice work.

    • i still have flowers in my hair–
      “i read Job, an early morning,
      in a hotel bed in San Francisco,
      the sheets smell musty,

      & i think, i didn’t feel her heart yet…”

      Through your poetic words you have captured both the ” city to fall in…love with..and a “city full of contrasts as well…”Thanks, for sharing the view [the beautiful photograph…too!]

      “& if i knew how to make love to her,
      i would’ve.

      ———–this she knows–”

  29. mortals that we are + cappuccino puddles + only two directions + feeling the heart of the city = one grown up flower child. Hope you are safely home by now.