Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Retired Ballerinas, Central Park West

Wild Dreams of a New Beginning

Sandinista Avioncitos

 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti



Wild Dreams of a New Beginning


There’s a breathless hush on the freeway tonight
Beyond the ledges of concrete
restaurants fall into dreams
with candlelight couples
Lost Alexandria still burns
in a billion lightbulbs
Lives cross lives
idling at stoplights
Beyond the cloverleaf turnoffs
‘Souls eat souls in the general emptiness’
A piano concerto comes out a kitchen window
A yogi speaks at Ojai
‘It’s all taking place in one mind’
On the lawn among the trees
lovers are listening
for the master to tell them they are one
with the universe
Eyes smell flowers and become them
There’s a deathless hush
on the freeway tonight
as a Pacific tidal wave a mile high
                                                  sweeps in
Los Angeles breathes its last gas
and sinks into the sea like the Titanic all lights lit
Nine minutes later Willa Cather’s Nebraska
                                                           sinks with it
The seas come in over Utah
Mormon tabernacles washed away like salt
Coyotes are confounded & swim nowhere
An orchestra onstage in Omaha
keeps on playing Handel’s Water Music
Horns fill with water
and bass players float away on their instruments
clutching them like lovers horizontal
Chicago’s Loop becomes a rollercoaster
Skyscrapers filled like water glasses
Great Lakes mixed with Buddhist brine
Great Books watered down in Evanston
Milwaukee beer topped with sea foam
Beau Fleuve of Buffalo suddenly become salt
Manhattan Island swept clean in sixteen seconds
buried masts of New Amsterdam arise
as the great wave sweeps on Eastward
to wash away over-age Camembert Europe
Mannahatta steaming in sea-vines
the washed land awakes again to wilderness
the only sound a vast thrumming of crickets
a cry of seabirds high over
in empty eternity
as the Hudson retakes its thickets
and Indians reclaim their canoes