by John Gardiner

Thank you for not killing me in the metal-grilled cross-hairs
of your monstrous SUV as I crossed the street
cautiously, in full view, in daylight, in the crosswalk
where I thought I had a lawful right to be
and indeed once did in a different, slower world
when I could meander and even take a peek upward
at a trail of pelicans
or outward at a glorious pod of dolphins,
but now I must deal with the likes of you
as you fight for space, wrecking the world
with anger
and the awful weight of your toys.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Gardiner has published 10 collections of poetry and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies, journals, and magazines, including two anthologies of California Poets (Tebot Bach), Spillway, The Sacred Beverage Press, Speakeasy, Write Bloody, Moon Tide Press, Poetry Flash (Berkeley), Windflower Press, California Poetry Quarterly, Art Life, and The Comstock Journal. In addition to hundreds of featured readings in the U.S., Gardiner has also performed in Russia, The Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Ireland, and Brazil. He tours in a rock ‘n roll Shakespeare show called Shakespeare’s Fool, and has facilitated poetry readings, slams, and workshops in Laguna Beach for the past 16 years. Gardiner teachers drama, Shakespeare, and oral presentation for the Gifted Students Academy at the University of California, Irvine.

Note: “Crossing the Street in Laguna Beach” by John Gardiner was a winning entry in the Op-Ed poetry by the Los Angeles Times. Check out more of the winning poems at

SOURCE: “Crossing the Street in Laguna Beach” appears in John Gardiner‘s collection Coyote Blues: Free Verse and Prose Poems, available at

PHOTO: Trail of pelicans