Oakland Hills, 1971

I am surveying my kingdom
Astride my horse at sunrise,
Clouds cover the cities below
And I am queen of this fog-bound world,
In the early morning,
Alone with the smells of dry summer grass,
Alone with the wild oaks and manzanita
Alone in the crisp, damp wind
The soft moans
Of the earth shifting to life beneath me.
In a waking dream,
I am ten thousand years old,
Waiting, praying -
Destiny be kind
to this gentle heart.

Oakland Hills, 2005

I am surveying my kingdom
Inside a battered Buick Imperial,
The sunset burns the sky red
And I am slave to this stone-bound world
In the early evening
Alone with the fumes of gasoline
Alone with the slaughtered pines and fields
Alone in the hot, barren breeze
The anguished cries
Of the earth dying beneath me
In a waking dream,
I am seventeen,
Waiting, praying -
Destiny please forget
this gentle heart.


©  2005 J.L.Stanley