California Tower (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Someday, I’ll need to really spend a great deal of time in Balboa Park–where there are so many museums, a botanical garden, and several other historic places.]

             A tower stretches upwards

             through the San Diego skies

               (for more than 200 feet)

        above a myriad of historic tributes

                  and natural preserves

                  known as Balboa Park

            Monarch Butterflies rest in the autumn

            with their orange    black-striped wings

                    that glow in the sunlight

                        upon the tiled roof

                       of the tower steeple

                before they continue onwards

                   to misty forest destinations   

                           deep in Mexico

                             for the winter


                       visitors on the ground

                    have gazed up in reverence

                             at this structure

                      above the Museum of Man

                    inspired by Spanish churches

                             which has stood

                                   for more

                        than one hundred years

I wonder                  sometimes

         if butterfly and human tourist alike

                 even consider what marvels

                                this tower must have witnessed…

              …an exclamation of delight

                            as a botanist named Kate Sessions

                                (“The Mother of Balboa Park”)

                                       planted her gardens

                                                around the time

                                                        of the Civil War

                     …a world’s fair in 1915 to celebrate

                                the Panama Canal

                                       where “City Park”

                                                became “Balboa Park”      

                         …the birth of a Southern White Rhino

                                      at the San Diego Zoo

                                                     in 2019

Countless moments observed

                           with great solemnity

      and countless more to know

                 in the future

                           by a tower

                     like an ancient lighthouse

                               around which 

                                      the world swishes

                                               in a great ocean

                                                            of change

12 thoughts on “California Tower (A Poem)

  1. ” like an ancient lighthouse

    around which

    the world swishes” my favorite lines. Very evocative.
    This piece reminds us that while we marvel at certain things, they might be marveling at us.
    The world has the ability to make us feel small – structures that experienced SO many generations, change of scenery, etc.

    P.S. I had a different post of yours open but by the time I got to reading it, it was no longer found. Are you doubting yourself again?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the way you phrased the way the things we marvel at might be marveling at us, because it’s very true. Sometimes it is important, though, to remember that we are a part of a much larger and grander world.

      P.S. In terms of the posting… I may have been doubting myself a little bit since it was my first drabble. However, I’d also happened to submit it to a contest on Reedsy and decided to give them a few more days to respond back one way or the other. I kind of figured that I would re-post the piece again on Monday if no news came through, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, cool!
        Is it the weekly Friday prompt you submitted it for? Back in the day, it used to be free and people shared some great feedback. Then, it became another social media platform – a like for a like and they came up with a paid submission.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I actually submitted it for to a literary magazine that specialized in micro-fiction, which sent me a notice just the other night to say the drabble wasn’t a good fit for them (but wished me the best of luck in placing it elsewhere). As such, I re-posted and would love your feedback on it. ^_^

        I hadn’t realized there was a Friday prompt! Could you send me a link to it?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Aww, thank you so much for the link! I’ll need to start submitting stories to it each week, then! ^_^

        Hope you enjoy the drabble. I must admit that I’m kind of self-conscious about it, since it is the first drabble that I’ve done and very experimental.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s why I like this space – not all my pieces are as polished as I would like them to be (very few actually are), but I still share them to 1. gain more confidence, 2. receive feedback, 3. to hold myself accountable. If I don’t post, then I stop writing, and if I stop writing, I don’t improve and my life unravels. You don’t want that. Do you?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s true. WordPress has been a great place to “get out on the stage,” in a sense, and experiment with new ideas–because being able to do that is one of the most important things about writing and other mediums of expression. We can get nervous, but it shouldn’t stop us from trying–because who knows what valuable lessons we can learn in the process? ^_^ Thanks for the confidence boost.

        Liked by 1 person

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