Villa Grande


The primeval stillness of tapered giants

Reaching in clustered unison toward the sky,

Stand majestic like centurions in ancient times,

Guarding the quiet solitude around Villa Grande,

A hamlet so simplistic in design.

Its narrow streets, paved with undivided lanes,

First, Second, Third, Moscow and River road,

Are lined with cabins built from varying schemes,

A reflection upon their builder's ambitions and dreams.

I sit this evening in a cabin on the lane, built by Grandpa,

Whom I know by no other name,

Yet I know his ambitions and have felt his dreams,

For they exist within these walls or so it seems.



I awoke this morning to filtered light cascading from shadows

Flickering on a gentle breeze, awakening the tapered limbs

Of the night sentinels as it ushered through their leaves.

I felt the ambivalence of the morning sun,

Dissimilar to the cool flicker, and yet both were as one.

I dreamed the dreams of Grandpa,

As I dozed in nirvanic slumber,

Then moved to within the kitchen,

An enticement, drawn by hunger....



As the sun approaches the steeple tips,

Villa Grande transforms into an enchanted world.

The crimson Fuchsia hangs from their fragile branch,

As gentle as a tears fall from the eyes of a geisha.

The essence of the rose, poetic and unrestrained,

Arouses memories, as I pass the cabins along the lane.

The feathery orbs of the Rhododendron,

Add beauty and humor as one,

Standing tall in their pastel world,

Giving praise to the mid-day Sun..



The magnificent ferns that emerge from decay,

Line the verdure covered path that opens upon the river way.

I emerge from this cavern, with verdant filled walls,

To a sunlit beach and the river's silent call.

I lay in the warm sand listening to the river's meandering song,

And ponder the granite face that lines yonder wall.

A stone visage worn cold, by the stormy tides of times,

A portrait that paints my image, on a speck of dust, so fine...



I muse the river's vitreous beauty,

Glittering with resplendent light.

Inspired by the swiftness of the moment,

When a hawk in playful flight,

Soared upon the currents, that blew in from the sea,

Creating a vortex so resonant,

I could feel its freedom vibrate within me.

I wonder as a fish leaps, high into the air,

Could it be courageous, a voyager extraordinaire,

Or a serendipitous encounter.....a bug to snare?

I notice no urgency in the river as it flows,

Driven toward the ocean,

By rain and the melting snow.

Perhaps it senses the lost identity

Marked along its shores,

For as it flows into the ocean,

A river it is no more...



The sinuous flow of the Russian river

Moves so sombre across its sandy floor,

As I drive along highway 116 to Jenner,

A town nestled on the cliffs above the ocean shore.

As I stand on the verge near Goat Rock vista,

Observing the artistic work of the tides,

Cloven rocks of weathered sculpture,

Hewed by the chisel of time.

I imagine an endless moment that reaches

To another side, unlike the distant horizon,

Broken only by earth and sky.

As I sit on the beach below Goat Rock,

A mass of monolithic scale, the ocean begins to billow,

As the waves dance and yell.

I feel the life like rhythms, as the ocean ebbs and flows,

And taste the amniotic mist, as the waves thunder and moan.


The twilights crimson cloak brushes the evening sky,

Shrouding Villa Grande, in hues that sparkle,

As brilliant as the 4th of July.

A celestial pageantry of mythological names,

Clustered nebulae, the zodiac in refrain,

Moves across the heavens, above the giant trees,

As I stand near the river, flowing toward the sea.

This quaint little villa, a postal and general store,

The gas pumps out front, that pumps no more,

The yellow smoky light, that shines from the windowpanes,

Cast an occasional shadow, from the cabins along the lanes.

A momentary glimpse, at the occupants inside,

Perhaps weekend visitors, with dreams such as I.



Just East of Villa Grande, a forest, an ancient grove,

The tapered tips on the night sentinels, their beauty on show.

A family of redwoods, some young, some very old,

Given to the state by Colonel Armstrong, a logger, I am told.

Perhaps stolen from the Indians for a trinket or two,

Colonel you now have a sentinel named for you.

It stands over three hundred feet into the air,

Fourteen hundred years of growth it bears,

And I just sit here and stare.



As I climb above the sentinels in the ancient grove,

This dusty trail with times I climb very slow.

With vistas as wide, as the trail is thin, an occasional sign

(Bull Frog Pond, just around the bend).

There in a sunlit meadow, the pond a tranquil sight,

Garnished with long brown cattails, fuzzy with pointy spikes.

Dragonflies with transparent wings, red, black and green,

Fly hither thither with tails so long and lean.

Sunfish swim with their yellow trimmed fins,

Dashing and darting through algae covered limbs,

Disturbing the tadpoles, as they dream and mope,

Imagining a time when they can jump and croak.

Ducks move playfully across the pond,

Their reflected image as regal as swans.

The wild flowers sidle in the warm spring breeze,

Passionately stimulating, the hidden nature within the bee,

As I sit here in the shade below these flickering leaves.



As I prepare to leave this cabin that sits on the lane,

Built by Grandpa, whom I know by no other name.

I say thanks to the sentinels for their courage to withstand,

And the beauty of the river, as I laid on the warm sand.

Humbled by the ocean and the force of its tides,

I'll seek the endless moment that reaches to another side.

I'll always remember as I gazed into the night sky,

The celestial pageantry, its wonderful surprise,

And the flowers that lined the undivided lanes,

The yellow smoky lamplight that shined through the panes.

I say thanks to the Colonel, who did not destroy the grove,

And the beauty of Bull Frog Pond can never be told!


This quaint little villa, its postal and general store,

The gas pumps out front, that pump no more....


(I'll say good bye now,

As I close the door.)


1996 Jim Cain