From Letter to Jean Chapalain

David Rowbotham

At last I’ve come to San Francisco.
The Spanish round Pacific has spun
my centrifugal feet to the Golden Gate;
I’m El Dorado the golden man
and my life has been incredible,
thank God. Drake in the Golden Hind
sailed by here; I think that I’ll
never be as near to a sea-dog’s mind.
The city itself, though standing still,
is still an earthquake built upon,
or a Chinese dragon whose sea gill,
the big bay, breathes, like an ancient lung,
my El Dorado’s boyhood back.
I walked but a mile from Prospect Street
and gazed towards my own bay’s gate.
The times have taken me further out.