The "Ode To Santa Cruz" Contest

UCSC ran a contest to see who could write the "best" Ode to Santa Cruz. The winning ode would be read by Garisson Keillor during his appearance at the Santa Cruz Civic Center. The winning author was "well-known Santa Cruz visual artist" Douglas McClelland. Here is my entry followed by Laurie Agard's haiku response to my ode, followed by Faith Zack's entry, followed by the winning entry. Judge for yourself!

Ode To Santa Cruz

Written by Ronald Joe Record

O,  sleepy  Italian  fishing  village!  City  on  an  elfland  hill!
Haven  of  the  aging  hippie,  Harbor  for  the  shell  shocked  Vet
Asylum  for  the  single  mother,  Shelter  for  the  wrecked  and  battered
Sanctuary  for  all  seven  genders,  Resort  for  those  with  ample  pocket

Boardwalk,  Harbor,  Wharf,  and  Lighthouse
Surf  Museum  and  Natural  Bridge!
Tide  pools, redwoods, and Mission Santa Cruz
Lost  Boys  ride  a  Giant  Dipper  with  the  silent  ZaSu  Pitts

Ever  changing  changeless  time  warp
Protected  timeless  mediterranean  bay
Dolphins  leap,  otters  roll,  and  Gray  Whales  spout
We  live  on  the  lip  of  a  mile  deep  trench!

Labs Richter  and  Long  Marine
Human  genome  project  completed  here!
New  planets  discovered,  ancient  fossils  uncovered
History  of  Consciousness  Ph.D.s!

Surf  city  slackers,  scientists  and  skaters
A  crossing  of  saints  where  mountains  meet  sea
Four  twenty  stoners,  students  and  surfers
Small  town  sensibility,  global  responsibility

Pergolesi  &  Bookshop,  Crepe  Place  &  Coffee  Roasting
All  collapse  and  rise  again!
The  wrecking  ball  bounces  off  the  Cooper  House  wall!
Elementary  schools  close,  Colleges  sprout  like  mushrooms  on  the  Hill

O,  ephemeral  Mystery  Spot!!  Tourists  flock  to  thee!
Quakes,  deficits,  students,  and  time  may  change  thy  face
Yet  redwood,  coaster,  clock,  and  train
All  stand  to  remind  us  of  times  slow  pace

City  of  celebration  and  homeless  defecation
You  gave  us  First  Night,  Last  Night,  and  Take  Back  The  Night
Myth  California  and  the  Preying  Mantis  Brigade
Crazy  chaos  theory  Dripheads,  Mr.  Twister,  and  Umbrella  Man

The  statue  of  Tom  Scribner
Stirs  the  lentil  vegan  pot  with  saw  and  bow
A  miracle!  He  cries  real  tears
As  "progressives"  court  Big  Box  chains

Self  declared  inter-galactic  port
Your  compassion  flower
Lampooned  by  late  night  standups
Mocking  the  Mayor's  free  bags  of  bud

Eastside,  Westside,  Town,  and  Gown
Your  Greenbelt  rings  them  all
From  Zachary's  to  Zoccolis
All  of  us  stroll  the  mall

Yea,  let  us  don  our  wetsuits,  pull  the  salt  water  taffy
Stalk  the  wild  morel  we  learned  of  at  the  fungus  fair
As  costumed  children  greet  the  Monarch's  return
We  celebrate  daily  the  purple  scarfed  dancing  lady  that  is  Santa  Cruz

Haiku Response to Ode To Santa Cruz

Written by Laurie Agard
Whitecaps on the bay:
A broken signboard banging
the wind of Ron's ode.

Ode To Santa Cruz

Written by Faith Zack
Whiz your bike up West Cliff, watch the sea otters dive
Weave through couples and strollers, joggers and doggers
Swing your hips to the drum circle vibe
Whole grain, organic, earthy crunchy santa crustaceans
Salute the sun on your sweaty yoga mats
Sip your chai latte, watch the Umbrella man
Promen-ambling up the mall

Ode To Santa Cruz

Written by Douglas McClelland
Santa Cruz, to honor you,		with a rainbow of others
I declare a mural --			in solidarity. Planting, writing,
surfer facing the sea			catching their own waves.
wearing a full bore tool belt;		The painting style is bold,
rat gray pony tail.			Rivera-like, colors clear,
Unfinished dissertation			edges crisp, but the pearly
in hand -- he balances,			Pacific light sweetens the diverse parts
rampant on a green wave.		redwoods, tourists in black socks,
Tattoo of Gaia that bears		screwtop wine bottles,
the word "Mom" on his chest.		pale slackers, bronzed shiatsists,
His board, a riot of earth tones,	owlish deans, and organic garlic--
bears the proud legend			into a rare harmony. All gentled
"En Plein Air."				by an avant garde surfbeat,
On the shore, strong women		string band, folk song loop
will be seen, gathering			from an amp behind
					a tie-dyed screen.