Every San Francisco, Bay Area resident can vouch for their fondness and love for life in this area. As the world’s Silicon Valley and technology hub, it attracts thousands each year. People flock to the area for work, but stay for the sheer number of outdoor options available within a short drive and offer a distinctive lifestyle compared to other parts of the country. The miles of beaches on the Pacific are as easy to reach as the ski oasis of Tahoe. For those who love wilderness and mountains, the allure of Yosemite is an easy draw. And if you are a wine lover, Napa and Sonoma are a must.
I was equally impressed by the region’s appeal when I decided to emigrate from India more than a decade ago. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Bay Area exploring the serene beaches, county parks, golf courses, bike trails, hiking trails, mountains, and wilderness near the area, which is just a short drive away.
Over the years I have been fascinated by the abundance of natural beauty in the region and have come back rejuvenated after every excursion. Sometimes these feelings found expression in free verse or poetry – can you expect better (figuratively) from a creative heart? That said, below is a series of three poems inspired by my treks to Monterey, Yosemite, and Lake Chabot.
Before we move on to the poetry section, let us remind ourselves that we are blessed to live in this region of nature. The environmental problem of climate change is real and poses a tremendous threat to the health of the Bay Area and its ecology – perhaps last year’s raging forest fires were an expression of that threat. The preservation and protection of forests and their habitat is essential for sustainable development and for the future writers / poets who will emerge from this area in the footsteps of John Muir, Jack Kerouac or Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Lake Chabot in Oakland, California.
Overlooking Lake Chabot
The white velvet
spread across the azure sky,
The gently rolling green slopes
Rolling hills and a deep blue oasis
flows through the turquoise landscape.
The gentle breeze rocked my long hair.
The feeling of coolness on my bare skin
The panorama of striking beauty
Soothe my tired eyes.
The ascent over the lookout point,
And the gentle exertion of the legs
The tranquility of the area
Radiate the silence that calms the mind.
It is in this nature that
The zen of the mind dwells.
It’s in these out there that
the feeling of well-being permeates.
Monterey Bay in Monterey, California.
The setting sun is shining
a golden stripe
on the azure, transparent water.
The distant horizon
kisses the vastness of oceanic waters.
The green vegetation on the slope,
sways in the cool breeze
pushes sweet things into the ears.
The feeling of the cool sand
pleases all pores.
The waves hit the bank
rise and fall in a crescendo,
beckons me on my lap.
I rush to your invitation
Wade through knee-deep water.
The soft foamy waves
caress my body rhythmically
raise my senses to paradise.
My mind in magical ecstasy;
experiences a cool calm.
The evening in Monterey
is a pure joy.
Fire fall in Yosemite Valley, California.
At Yosemite: a brush with life itself
Miles of green wilderness
The panorama of the snow-covered hills
The majestic half-dome rises in splendor
About the wonderful curry village.
Fluffy, velvety clouds
the cool zephyr
the buzzing alpine butterflies
float in air
a herd of mule deer
gallops into the distant forest,
majestic waterfall close by
storm through in all its glory,
the fragrant ambience,
the unbridled silence
(except for the “voices” of nature)
embedded in the wilderness
very slow drizzle
soak me wet;
I stand alone
my inner self;
Body in complete harmony
Mind in perfect peace,
Mind in blissful ecstasy;
I breathe again
i can feel
the pulse of life
flow through my veins.
After days of jejune existence
I can feel it again
the lightness of my being.
Lalit Kumar works in technology but keeps an artist’s heart. He enjoys reading and writing poetry, aside from outdoor activities and adventure sports. He started recently Curating famous poems (and occasionally his own).