At the Festival
Festival of the Arts & Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach, 2017
By Kate Buckley, Laguna Beach Poet Laureate
We walk arm and arm through this city by the sea,
make our way through the tilting streets, setting sun
filtering through plumeria and vines. The music is bright
in the distance, flags waving in the ocean breeze.
The festival rises to greet us and we wander in delight,
marveling at paintings and drawings, photographs, sculpture—
how much beauty, how many stories, held up to the light.
We stop and talk with the artists, one points at the moon—
a white marble, he says, caught in the trees.
The lawn stretches out, jazz coloring the air, snaking its way
onto the grass where we sit with our picnics, open wine,
bask under the lavender sky. And then, it is time.
We take our seats, wait for the hush to fall, lights to rise.
The players take the stage: A grand tour, through art and time—
weddings and funerals, coronations and fetes, palaces and prisons,
lost loves and treasure troves. A portal through
what divides us, what connects us.
Enchantment rings the canyon, swallow and starling call
from the branches, as we sit transfixed—the uncovering of myth,
peeling back the strata of time. Romance, adventure, highwaymen—
and all the while, the bowl of stars shines down, a benediction.
Note the arc of the branch narrowing, the way air takes on
the color of night, the caw of birds calling down the horizon.
So much revealed from a distance—that which time has stripped away,
that which is destined to remain.