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What I Call my Heart - Peter Malakoff


I used to have a woodworking shop in the Schoonmaker Building


where they constructed the Liberty ships of WWII


It was located


at the foot of Spring Street in Sausalito, right next to the bay


One night, in the month of December, after working late


I locked up my shop and went out to get in my car and drive home


As I stood outside my car


I heard water running


It had not rained in quite some time


and I wondered where it could be coming from



After a short while trying to locate the sound


I realized it was coming through the sewer grating


The water had been running down the hill from above the shop


This was why it had been called 'Spring Street'



The creek had been paved over and now was


flowing underneath the road


It was covered over fifty years ago


when they built the roads and streets here



Everyone has forgotten about it


This discovery


made me very happy


and I wrote this poem

What I Call My Heart

Underneath the hillside


Buried now



        under the man-made mound of earth


  Through the grating


last night




I heard the waters singing


at the foot of Spring Street



Others heard this long ago


they looked at the waters


while walking along a creek bank


edged with trees and rocks and small insects and animals


the waters sparkling in the sunlight


Since then


so much has gone on


so much has piled up


But the ancient springs


 do not go dry


Nor do the eternal voices




in their praising



Underneath the construction of a life


   foundations lie buried like a treasure



And in forgotten channels


   the waters of our lives

   still find their course



This virgin spring


cries out like a child


wet- eyed


ready for anything

and memory


calls out with the waters

We have forgotten so much


Above the sky is infinity




here too


there is no end


to the mystery



I heard the waters singing


at the foot of Spring Street


with the stars and night all joined


The hill like a gentle Mother


gently showing her child


Now I know


This is what I call


my heart 



Above our heads is infinity


Below our feet is the ground


Within our heart a river's flowin'


It's pourin' all around

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