For Lawrence Ferlinghetti, founder of City Lights Bookstore, North Beach,. SF

Sidewalk Sketch of the Skipper

(for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1919-2021)

From Nothing to Nothing,

Wearing an ironic grin and

A fine hat,

Back straight, naval officer,

The wheel at hand,

The compass within,

Forever approaching

That Beach,

June Sixth,

Nineteen forty-four,

A break in bad weather,

But not in artillery.

Back straight at the wheel,

Into battle,

There went a gent whose

Calm heart will be sorely missed,

Always among us

But never quite of us,

Size drew him above us,

A floating fedora or fisherman’s cap and

An ironic grin,

Steering to battle

Against the

Same old

Same old


Bill Hatch, 2021