“St. Helena Police Log” Poem

Entry into Napa by Tim CarlIn case you didn’t read it in the recent St. Helena Star…

“Like many locals I love reading the St. Helena Police Log — a true snapshot of this wonderful and quirky place we live in or call home. The entries can be funny, such as “A domesticated, banded pigeon had been hanging around someone’s driveway for days.” Or they can be sad or even tragic: “An 8-year-old boy was reported missing.” When I spend time reading through the archives I am often struck by the repetition of themes: loud noises, drinking, odd behavior, fearful actions, missing people and pets, vandalism. Many other themes range from touching to quite frightening. From “An officer removed some pumpkins from the roadway” to “Prowlers on Vineyard Avenue.”

Taken together, these entries form a story about a unique place and its people, and as a poet and short-story writer, I am intrigued and compelled by these very human tales.

Here is a short poem based on actual “Log” entries that, taken together, might tell a story about a relationship that may have seen better days.

St. Helena Police Log — !

Solicitor polite
Cat loose
Leaf-blower early
Nude woman rakes
Skateboarder pushed
Drunk staggers
Flowerpot broken
Trash overturned
Music loud
Toy gun pointed
Leaf-blower roaring
Mail missing
Camera stolen
House egged
Dog neglected
Elderly suspicious
Dispute verbal
Homeless urinates
Leaf-blower late
Car skids
Bottle thrown
Boy bruised
Man reports —
Woman missing!

by Tim Carl

(Tim Carl grew up in St. Helena (Class of ’84). Left to join the Navy, came back, married a girl from Rutherford and then went to school. He ended up getting his Ph.D. in biology and becoming a Fellow at Harvard. Later, in 2006, he started Knights Bridge Winery. tfcarl@gmail.com)”

About MWycombe

Webmaster for Napa Valley Writers
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