Author Topic: La Shangra  (Read 7553 times)

indar9

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
  • Kudos: 3
    • View Profile
La Shangra
« on: April 25, 2019, 06:53:12 AM »
This is the final version of a poem I edited several times over a period of a few years--not an unusual length of time for me.


La Shangra

Past San Elijo to the east,
in a V where distant foothills meet,
I am certain a small town nestles,
blended into ocher rock-striations,

the surrounding landscape laced
with laquer-red manzanita branches,
ribbon trees, deep green pine
and clear air wafted
with warmed desert spices.

No road goes there so the dwellers
are self-sufficient, tend gardens
of carrots, corn, lettuce,
grow colorful gourds
to decorate for holiday celebrations.

They run out of their quarters
to look up when a jet plane flies over.
None of them remembers
life before the crash, though
some experience flashbacks
to three-bedroom houses,
yards and home theaters.

They do what they can
for one another
with medicinal herbs and old remedies,
play made-up games, recite litanies
and are content to live without expectations.

I want to go there some day
but the sun is hot
and it would be a long walk.

DGSquared

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5211
  • Kudos: 8
  • May the farce be with you.
    • View Profile
Re: La Shangra
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2021, 11:29:36 AM »
I've returned to read this poem a few times now and every time, the relatable parts click and I take something new away from it.

It paints subtle pictures in my mind, like Norman Rockwell, until you talk of the walk. Then, it makes me contemplate.

I quite like this one, Linda.


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

indar9

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
  • Kudos: 3
    • View Profile
Re: La Shangra
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2021, 03:53:19 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slab_City,_California

I check this forum every once in a while--lo and behold here is one of my poems I'd all but forgotten about. Thanks for digging it up. I wrote it in response to a piece I saw on TV about Slab City when families were moving in, living in cars and what-not after the 2008 crash and huge number of foreclosures that followed especially here in CA. Kids were ashamed to admit to school friends they lived here--some bathed in an old cement cattle dip.

On capitol hill the usual weird stories arose about how free and easy the life was and some blamed the families for overextending themselves financially---anything but blaming predatory lending and bad bank practices and failures.

Thanks Deb for the interest in this write.

DGSquared

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5211
  • Kudos: 8
  • May the farce be with you.
    • View Profile
Re: La Shangra
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2021, 07:14:09 AM »
I knew it sounded like the desert, except for the pines. There are pines in the foothills though.  I remember hearing about Slab City.

Reminds me of Rosamond when I was the toddler of a single mother who worked as a bartender, living in a trailer in the desert.

Pretty much all of Los Angeles and cities East and South of San Diego, in and around the desert areas sound more and more like Slab City. I've never seen so many homeless people. It's a stark contrast to the Hollywood elite's way of living.

I feel a poem brewing.  ;)
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb

indar9

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
  • Kudos: 3
    • View Profile
Re: La Shangra
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2021, 08:20:15 PM »
I recently heard a comparison between the 30s depression and today's economic downturns and crashes. The difference is that everyone (more or less) was affected during the 30s and there was a sense of all being in it together. Now there is the "K" economy the upper bracket continues to get richer and the lower brackets suffer. That trend is what the commentators credited, to some extent, for the rage we see among so many citizens. It was an interesting program. Public radio of course.