I have become earth

By Jim Smith

Tell me the truth, Don was saying,

Could you live downtown 

in one of those new condos? 

I shrug. I am a Venetian. It’s not a fair question.

How could I live away from the Lady, 

from the smell of the sea.

Here, every house has a history

every street has a resume.

I’d be an ant in an anthill downtown

I am not just this body and mind anymore

I have become a place, a smell, a sound,

I have become earth    before my time.

 

Don’t ya hate it, he taunts, 

when they put up another big, ugly box.

I cannot hide the truth.

Yeah, it’s like a punch in the nose,

a stab in the heart.

They’re taking me apart 

one brick at a time, I say.

 

This land is my soul

I cannot write when I go away

The Muse deserts me 

because    I have deserted her.

I return and lay on the sand

to beg forgiveness.

She is merciful    this time.

She tells me to arise

and sing her praises.

The center is restored

I am in my home once more.

 

————

Crossing

by hillary kaye

No more

does it move itself

it is seen in springs

of golden light

it is felt in rivers

that call its name

it is not where

it should be

it is lost

to itself and will

not be found

again

———–

Venice Beach

By Slim Diamond

Welcome, one and all

to the great Venice beach,

new home of “One Love”

and freedom of speech.

Where souls are rich

and art depicts life,

true sense of purpose,

Bohemian’s delight.

Rainbow of people

come from far and near,

leave astounded by the joys

that are only found here.

We’re all just strugglin’

for a piece of the pie

just being creative,

simply tryin’ to get by.

These very real people

doin’ very real things

at peace with themselves

real visions, real dreams.

Writing’s my true love,

expressing myself,

though my pocket’s on “E”,

my heart’s full of wealth.

Love and harmony reigns

amongst the chosen ones

spreading joy and big fun,

best under the sun.

Bad apples? No doubt.

Of course there’s a few,

up and down the beach

you’ll find a crew, or two.

Now I ain’t one to judge,

hell, I’ve been there myself.

Crazy dope fiend life

wasn’t good for my health.

Despite all that,

the beach is paradise,

the joys and pains

just part of our lives.

Piece by piece,

the powers that be,

tryin’ their best to take away

our civil liberties.

It ain’t gonna happen

‘cause it’s not their choice,

there’s a much higher force

behind the people’s voice.

No need to worry,

spend some money, have fun,

peace and love’s supreme

out here under the sun.

Let’s all have a good day

and practice what we preach,

enjoy the sunshine and

your stay at Venice Beach.

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