Prose Poem for the View

Slice of Life #28


The middle of the night view makes you feel like falling out the window…

out the three floor-to-ceiling windows

from Twin Peaks gazing down Market Street

to downtown SF and beyond the Bay Bridge

across the East Bay and Oakland shipping yards

pulled the miles to the dark hills behind.

That view is a blink of jeweled strings of lights

mostly monochromatic and moody

with an orange shimmer from a local street lamp

patterned lines of lamps and traffic crisscross

taking your eye to the Bay Bridge with traffic backed up

people driving around at 3:00 a.m.

Human lights build the scene.


The view at 8:00 a.m is a glaring palette that rocks you back on your heels…

blink, blink, blinding whites and shining greys

under a huge canvas of sky with the bay reflecting  back.

Now sunlight jumps into the three floor-to-ceiling windows

A bold shine skipping off tall rhododendron and camelias

various angles of roof and musical an array of vents and chimneys

slick surfaces offer up greys and watery tones

while rows of terra cotta house roofs take the scene

human life scaled back under solar glory

the lovely geometry of dwellings

outlined with wind-whipped shrubs and sparkling trees

sit easy and securely in the broad daylight.

Now the view down Market Street and the slope of the land

swoops your eye downtown.

The immense broad array of buildings and sky scrapers

make their own horizon against the SF Bay

From the Peaks up here the cluster seems

miniaturized by detail, but still commanding it its sweep,

like a  monochromatic sculpture done by some ancient civilization.

This is a view that never tires me no matter the light or season

I have watched reverse sunsets when those tall buildings turn pink

then glow tropical orange and tempered glass glints with fire.

I have looked for the same architecture

Mysteriously altered under blankets of fog before dawn.

I’ve taken endless photos from these very windows–

Studied the lay of the land

the space and distance planed by streets, roof tops, buildings

I’ve admired the bay with cloud scapes or panoramic clear blue

It is a simple composition with endless variety to which

I’ve sometimes offered spoken comment from the table

Or appreciated it aloud from the upholstered swivel chair.

This morning I’ve tried

to picture it only

with words.

3 responses to “Prose Poem for the View”

  1. Thanks for your comment. Do you have any idea how hard it was for me not to post a photo and just let the words do the painting? The view belongs to a friend we stay with in SF. Lucky him.


  2. I read this when you first posted it, and just reread it. I thought I responded to it, but I don’t see any.
    The view from you window must be spectacular. I felt like I was in a car driving down the roads you take to get to and fro, with the words painting a watercolor before my eyes of what you see on that daily drive. Truly lucky and wonderfully beautiful. Thank you!


  3. Thank you for the pictures and moods I see from your writing.


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