Under the Golden Gate

jsb golden gateThe first Port of Call is San Francisco for half a day to pick up more passengers.  I got up at  6:30 to watch us come in past Point Reyes and under the Golden Gate Bridge. They were serving coffee and rolls on the deck.

Our day was spent ashore, finding the Legion of Honor Museum (after mis-directions on my part to the Presidio) and enjoying a few parts of its collection…de la Tour, and El Greco, Cycladic pieces. Le Penseur sits brooding over the courtyard. We had a good lunch, and used the free internet to send things to friends and to Tommy so he could enter them properly on the blog.

Back on the ship, we manage to stay up in the Crow’s Nest, bringing our supper from the Lido so we didn’t have to go below decks and miss the departure which wasn’t till 6 after all.

Our sister ship which has been at the next pier over leaves before we do.
Out under the bridge, and then down to our usual spot in the Explorer Lounge for a liqueur and chocolates. The piano violin duo played some Kurt Weill tonight. Tom and I decided not to offer our versions of Tiger Brown’s song or “The Ship, the Black Freighter.” They are very good: two young women who play every evening from 6-9.

We think of Whistler, our almost-year-old cockatiel at home with Tom and Mary. I wrote this in August when he had just nearly been killed by one of the Cooper’s Hawks nesting in our woods.

This small bird 
an exotic, not belonging here 
seeing the open door 
sailed out 
expecting perhaps a little change 
of scene, 
a bit of air and a new view? 

The hawk hit him so fast, 
had been waiting 
there 
must have heard his voice 
from inside 
talking, unsuspecting. 
It came from our left, 
accurate and feathered 
hungry and powerful. 

There was no waiting. 
I rushed and roared, 
hearing Whistler’s screams, 
blended with my own. 
Between us, 
we must have seemed too much 
to make a further fight 
worthwhile. 

The small dappled 
form was suddenly free, 
indignant but unharmed 
I saw. He walked across the gravel as though he’d only had a minor scrape, not been in the talons of a killer. 

I remember roaring 
once, rescuing a small Dougal, 
(and Westie puppies 
look juicy, very small) 
from a raccoon 
out the back door. 

I may have even 
beaten a pan and 
flapped my apron 
that time. 

It doesn’t bear thinking 
how it would have felt 
if it had turned out 
differently.            

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