Concerning California

Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows (Photo credit: mcbridejc)

In the Central Valley
grape vines stretch
like languorous lovers,
soak sweetness
from California sun,
become raisins–

while in (October)
wine country to the north
acres of gold
and scarlet leaves
shelter clusters of their counterparts;
juicy fruit waits
for harvest.
Swirl, inhale, taste
flavor-laden Zinfandel.
Light shines through goblets,
backlights Earth’s blood.

Stretches of desert
overwhelm the unwary
who prowl in search of
or God,
find instead
green chrysolite
or Satan.

Half Dome beckons,
climb me!
Below his façade
Tuolumne Meadows sprawl,
carpets of wildflowers
flaunt their palette,
entertain bears and bucks.

Pacific—not always true
to her name—churns,
swells, caresses, collides
with miles of costal sand
and craggy cliffs
which drown in contented abandon
to her moods.

This poem is just a beginning draft–I hope to expand on the theme. Shawna at Flipside Records offers words for inspiration and I thank her for getting my muse in gear. I’m linking this to dVerse Open Link Night, where many talented poets join to share their words in the wonder of poetry. Stop by, read, enjoy and comment.

31 thoughts on “Concerning California

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    Worthy drawing of this place I was lucky to call home for many years. Well done and you did it from memory with such accuracy I could see the light and color, smell the sent and fell the texture.


  2. So many really striking images, Victoria!! I love this on in particular:

    “acres of gold
    and scarlet leaves
    shelter clusters of their counterparts;
    juicy fruit waits
    for harvest.”

    Just beautiful…the gold and the contrast of the ripe fruit beneath….just wonderful what you did with Shawna’s word-list!!


  3. markwindham says:

    very good Victoria (content and use of Shawna’s words, she always has some interesting ones). You are going to have the California Tourism office calling you! The third probably my favorite


  4. beckykilsby says:

    Wonderfully evocative images and language here, Victoria! That opening stanza is so effective at showing change and enticement.


  5. Such scale and vision.

    I really need to travel.


  6. wolfsrosebud says:

    enjoyed the struggle in this piece


  7. Makes me want to pack my bags and relocate!


  8. I haven’t been to California in a long time. You make me want to see Northern California again and the Pacific. It always gives me goosebumps and thrills. I love traveling from there to Vancouver and beyond up to Banff and Lake Louise. That ride is like taking a highway to heaven. Here you offer us fruit for the trip. Lovely.


  9. sreeja says:

    lovely images… took me there….


  10. kkkkaty says:

    This is luscious..espec the last line…..


  11. hobgoblin2011 says:

    Victoria, this piece is so good. Love the adherence to the sensory feel here. The inner quality within many of the lines also have that certain extra something I totally appreciate, example being:

    wine country to the north
    acres of gold
    and scarlet leaves
    shelter clusters of their counterparts

    Where you can have wines of gold and scarlet appearance, where north is sky, but also, gold as in sun can be found to the north, gold and scarlet-both colors, scarlet leaves, either as in the leaves from a tree, changing seasons, as indicated by (October) but also the act of red, leaving, which can have it’s own multiplicity of meaning there, shelter clusters of their counterparts-some really nice mix of ideas that can be taken here as well. I found this type of reflection and analysis wide open to interpretation throughout, where each interpretation works with the others, while never detracting from other possibilities.

    Finally, the small touch of breaking down into “chapters” I thought was helpful not just for aesthetics and pausing, but for outline and maximizing on effect and imagery.

    Probably obvious, but I really enjoyed this piece.



    My piece linked up to OLN:


    • Thanks so much for your in-depth read and comments, Fred. It always amazes me when someone finds deeper meaning–perhaps not intended but, non-the-less, valid in my writing. To me it speaks of that source of inspiration that’s beyond us!


  12. Poet Laundry says:

    Delicious descriptions…a well-penned piece. Does make me want to drive down the coast.


  13. Sara V says:

    Victoria, what an absolutely perfect California poem–makes me homesick–that’s my home state. Loved this!!


  14. Oh how I love California, especially her cool, mercurial Northern shores. I felt the wanderlust (though I just saw her in December) rising. This is an evocative, beautiful poem.


  15. leahJlynn says:

    absolutely Lovely write 🙂


  16. Grace says:

    What lovely images of the city…I specially like the last stanza ~ I would like to visit this city soon ~


  17. ayala says:

    Lovely…makes me to go back to beautiful California.


  18. Susan says:

    You gave me again all of he California I used to know. I can almost hear Joni singing “I’m coming home” in the background.


  19. tashtoo says:

    How i would so love to visit, Victoria…and this makes the bug even worse! Thank you for allowing me to at least enjoy vicariously through your wicked pen! I’m swimming in amazing imagery and driving with the top down!


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  21. […] i. In the Central Valley grape vines stretch like languorous lovers, soak sweetness from California sun, shrivel, become raisins– ii. while in (October) wine country to the north acres of gol…  […]


  22. ManicDdaily says:

    Ah California! Makes me want to go! K.


  23. brian miller says:

    very cool victoria…i like the progression in these…the first…i like how though shriveling the grape, now raisin is still useful….each of these provides another facet to admire…beautiful…


  24. “grape vines stretch
    like languorous lovers” … Gorgeous visual.

    I love “October” in parentheses—my favorite month. Its mention invites contrast, following such a sunny opening.

    I like the sounds of “swirl” and “Zinfandel” close together, particularly when read with a British accent (which I always do). 😉

    These are more of my favorites:

    “Light shines through goblets,
    backlights Earth’s blood”

    “stretches of desert

    “carpets of wildflowers
    flaunt their palette”

    “drown in contented abandon
    to her moods”

    What a beautiful contribution. Thank you so much for writing, Victoria. I do love California and would love to visit its northward friends.


  25. Mary says:

    What beautiful writing, Victoria! You really have brought parts of your area of the country to life. 2nd stanza was my favorite!


  26. Steve King says:

    Never been to California. What a various and beautiful place you describe. Can’t wait to see the end product–you got me with the Zinfandel!


  27. The imagery you paint is so vivid, it describes a land that can suit all tastes. I love the image of the mountain shouting ‘climb me’ the sweeping meadows with sprawling wildflowers. The wild creatures which inhabit it too. Really is such a rich painters palette of colour, life and vibrancy.


  28. Claudia says:

    wow…sounds magical…you paint such a vivid picture.. all in autumn it victoria


  29. Louise says:

    America is such a vast and beautiful country…love the descriptions of her in this 🙂


  30. vivinfrance says:

    This is really lovely: I have never crossed the Atlantic, but I could visualise it all from your words.


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