Scott T. Starbuck

Highway 1 and 101 Road Trip Poems
March 24, 25, 26, 2012
Between Santa Barbara and Monterey

I.    Omen Poem

The hawk I saw
north of Santa Barbara
flew higher than oil rigs

II.    Siren

I walked along the edge of a cliff
to observe weaving surfers
when a beaded dancer leaped from a van
and Hula-hooped to Hindu music.

Escaping the sway of her breasts
and gravity of hips, I looked over
and saw what was maybe driftwood,
maybe human skeletons.

III.    Big Sur Satori

The pod of gray whales
spouting off Hearst Castle
probably thought –

Crows and squirrels over
a “No Trespassing” sign
probably thought –

If my civilization drives
off a cliff into
uncountable dying stars –

IV.    Monarch Butterfly Flying Near the Gold Statue
of a Princess Holding a Crowned Frog
on the South Terrace outside Casa del Mar Guest House
at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon

Still, to be alive is
what matters.

V.    Black, White, and Gray

I’m reading a map
when a cop raps my window.
“What are you doing?” he asks.

“I’m having
an existential crisis
deciding between exits.”

He squints like Eastwood.
“There’s a frontage road
over there,” he points

“just beyond the fence.”

VI.    The “Moon Tree” by San Luis Creek

You know from its Sequoia presence
its been somewhere beyond
purple crystals and bead shops.

Above the bronzed Earth “Web of Life”
and two live artists sketching
on giant flat stones

it seems to say, yes,
it orbited that moonrise
in 1971 aboard Apollo 14

but prefers ordinary ducks,
children pointing out trout,
running water, shade, birdsong.

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