Did you know that Alameda has a poet laureate? Mary Rudge has served our Island in that capacity since 2002. She’s also leading a poetry group that meets at the main library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, has a new book out through Berkeley’s Beatitude Press called “The Skin of God,” and she’s written an ode to the new Alameda Theatre downtown. We’ve got it right here.
WHEN THE THEATER IS OPEN
Stars bigger than life will shimmer on the screen
in this ornate film palace. With friends around us,
we will applaud and laugh and sometimes scream;
we (who equally love watching wave and resting
on the wind) lean back awhile on comfort cushions,
say, “Now, let the show begin!”
In the flashing light, possibilities array before us,
how to be hero, lover, win in chase, overcome odds,
why not, there’s no fear here, just fantasy of mind
and the creative flow found in all humankind unites us.
Yes, horror happens and tragedy exists, but we
survive all to see sunlight, outside, again. And when
we face something hard to comprehend
and want relief, we can “escape,” return to enter in
someone else’s dream, yet, oddly ours, stark truth
flashed out of unreality.
Music crescendos, colors dance around,
people in all diversity surround —
community is what theater holds,
uniting all in consciousness, emotion,
understanding universal plight,
admiration of the bold,
a place to be in awe of a world
where we are free to innovate, where we believe
we can meet genius, face to face, as if we’re seen
in the light that we see. In imaginary boundless
7-League boots we leap into past and future as our
weightless astronauts leaped on the moon.
Nothing impossible here. And we, bedazzled
often by our own life stories, so that we never
want an end, are somehow reassured to know
that when we leave, theater still dark, another show
fabulous, fantastic, as before,
will soon begin.