Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Myth of Geography


Moreno Valley
(literally “Brown Valley”)
was in such need
of rebranding
they actually voted
and renamed
my zip code area
92555 to
“Rancho Belago.”

It’s not fooling anyone.

It’s still Moreno Valley,
and to the outside world
it’s a ghetto of Browns
and Blacks
and poor Whites.

It’s where you live
if you can’t afford
Riverside or Redlands.

I didn't come here
with such prejudices:
my wife has lived
her whole life,
and when she
and the kids
became
my whole life,
I moved here too.

In this hyperconnected world
where statuses update
unceasingly
and Google Earth
can show you a bird’s eye view
of Uzbekistan
in a split second,
the primacy of geography
is a myth.

Surely, no place is better,
no place is worse,
as we all share
the glorious sun,
the dolorous moon.

As I sit on the backyard swing
watching the sunset,
in a house where I make love
to the most beautiful woman
in the world,
and watch my children prosper,
and chuckle at
Magnolia and Mona Lisa
terrier-romping and tumbling
around my feet,

I've no doubt
I’m in the best place
in the world,

inside this lucky skin,
humbly inhabiting

this grateful soul.

[Written for #MeetingTheBar at dversepoets.com, come and share a poem!]

(View from my backyard in Moreno Valley, California, 92555.)

36 comments:

  1. Indeed, that is what it is all about, Buddah, being with the ones we love. So very nicely said. Beautiful sunset. Thanks for joining in.

    Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  2. smiles...pretty cool man...you are where you need to be...as am i...wont say i like my town, but it is my town...i take the good with the well not and it all comes together to make a place i love mainly for the people...though the people at times get on my nerves as well...ha...its all in what you make of it...if you hate it life is harder and you'll move and probably hate that too..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "if you hate it life is harder and you'll move and probably hate that too.."

      Now *that's* wisdom! Thanks bro.

      Delete
  3. Being with the ones you love is always the place you should be wherever that is... as you say we share the sun and the moon and paradise is what you make of it... really loved your take on this prompt and the happy place that inspired it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your warm enthusiasm... Mosk

      Delete
  4. Wow, Mosk, I drive through Moreno Valley on the 60 all the time on my way to visit my Mom in Huntington Beach...try to go up monthly from Jan to May while I'm down here and often come down in July and November for a short stay/writing retreat. Maybe we can meet for a cuppa or something!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I can see the 60 from my backyard! Hello neighbor! Yes, maybe someday our paths will cross. :) Mosk

      Delete
  5. Very well done--not just describing a place, but a frame of mind that makes a place what it is. Excellent work!

    ReplyDelete
  6. A really strong ballad turned love poem. It is refreshing and bright to read of your place here. I also enjoyed your flaming picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, the brilliant colors of the sunset courtesy of the California smog.

      Delete
  7. I love this line "the glorious sun,
    the dolorous moon."
    it really puts your myth into full-scale perspective--and it rolls on the tongue nicely! ~peace, Jason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I don't know how I came up with dolorous, but I like it.

      Delete
  8. oh nice...what i like most here is the sense of home that seems independent from the place you live but dependent on the people you live with there..really cool take on the prompt mosk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, home is where my love is. Thanks, Claudia.

      Delete
  9. Bruddah mine, I love the Moreno/Brown connection, and how no one is fooled. I grew up in lily white suburbia, but it was horrible. My soul was WAY too brown for the neighbors. It seems as though you have adapted to adopted family, that you are comfortable in your own skin, and that you are the luckiest sonofabitch I know! And, as Martha Stewart would intone, "That's a good thing!" O, lucky man. Love you, Ameleh (Rowdy one for you...) http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/03/06/night-bus-nyc-3ww-real-toads/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Ameleh, I'm lucky and blessed! Thanks, Mosk

      Delete
  10. With your wife and children you've turned it into a paradise. No other place to be. Nice take on geography, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they're my noisy, messy paradise. Thank you.

      Delete
  11. Oh, Mosk. What a fantastic title.
    And I relate to this gorgeous line, so much:
    "inside this lucky skin,
    humbly inhabiting

    this grateful soul."

    Love your words, my friend. And your heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks De. I knew you'd understand that kind of gratitude, my friend.

      Delete
  12. Really liked the lines the primacy of geography is a myth and then the next stanza - wonderful glimpse into your world! K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, K. I'm sure it'll offend one of my best friends who is a college geography instructor, but he doesn't read poetry.

      Delete
  13. What a lovely response to the prompt. I like how, even though it "needed rebranding", you've described a paradise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - paradise doesn't need rebranding.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Thank you for helping us keep our geography in the right perspective! This one blesses .. .God bless you, poet friend!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awwww...that's so nice. I hope you read this to your beautiful wife.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, and naw, I don't like to pester her with my writings.

      Delete
  16. Home is where the heart is indeed! Beautiful poem Buddah. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. true beauty lies within...it doesn't matter what others might see because they look from the outside in, whereas you look out from the heart and soul.

    a lovely write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - yes, on the outside, I'm not much, but on the inside, I'm Brad Pitt, Mister Universe and every other stubble-chinned male model with six pack abs on display in your favorite magazine.

      Delete