You are so beautiful, California, to me

by | Nov 14, 2018 | Poetry | 10 comments


If I could sing, California

If I could sing
If I had his marinated voice
his command

I would caress you
tone by sanded tone
word by weeping word

You are so beautiful
to me

You are so beautiful
mountain towns
artichoke fields
coastal cities
to me

dirt roads
shaded streets
rumbling highways
to me

Can’t you see
blazing landscapes
you’re everything I wanted
amid the wreckage
you’re everything I need

Holding hope
sifting rubble
breathing ash
you are so beautiful

If I could sing
If I had his growl
you are so beautiful
my home
to me


Laura McHale Holland
November 14, 2018

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  1. Tina

    Lovely and inspiring poem. Thank you

  2. Laura

    Thank you, Tina, for appreciating my work. Looks like you’re up waaaaay early this morning—just like me.

  3. Liliana

    What a lovely poem, I actually read it in my mind with the song “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. I grew up in California and although I have lived in another state I keep coming back here.

    Thank you for sharing,

  4. Laura

    Thank you, Liliana. That song kept going through my mind as I heard news of the devastation in Paradise and put on a mask to go outside hundreds of miles away. I imagined Joe Cocker singing to California, and that’s what inspired me to write the poem. I’m glad you the song came to your mind as your read it. That was my intention. I wasn’t sure if I should mention his name or not.

  5. Katherine

    Being a California native, the fires are absolutely heartbreaking. I no longer live in that beautiful state (I am from the Bay Area), but my friends and family are having trouble breathing—and so many of us have lost homes to fires over the years. Moveover, those of us who know it or have known it as home have lived through hundreds of earthquakes and also droughts and mudslides. It’s a lovely poem, Laura. Godspeed to everyone in that lovely place.

  6. Sherry

    This is a beautiful and heartfelt poem you have written.

  7. Laura

    Thank you, Katherine. I went to your website, read a little bit about your journey as a writer and signed up for your newsletter.

  8. Laura

    Thank you, Sherry. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

  9. Kate Johnston

    Such a lovely poem. My heart is heavy with the tragedy.

  10. Laura

    Thank you, Kate. Sorry for the late reply to your comment. My website has stopped sending me a notice when someone makes a comment. Until I sort that out, I’ll have to check it more often. There is so much tragedy right now. Giving a hand to those in need helps us all, the givers and receivers. This time we’re living through right now also reminds me how important it is to take nothing for granted. Every breath is a blessing, every ounce of love, every bit of sunshine, every smile.

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