Newport Beach Pastoral
by Mary Camarillo
After Professor Alvarez
Dunnells sailed into a bay
of blue pacific on a golden day.
Called it New because he could,
claimed it his, believed he should.
McFadden shipped out beets and grain,
gave the wharf and streets his name.
Early settlers, profiteers,
proud of being pioneers.
Tourists dreamed of orange trees,
Traveled trains to swim the seas,
built their mansions, docked their boats.
Their own heaven, their green coast.
“Ours,” they said, “we found it first.
We began this, we are just.”
Ignored old grave yards, buried bones,
ground up all the coggle-stones.
“Forgot” that Tongva fished these seas,
hunted, gathered, lived in ease,
till Spain conquered, Yorba ranched,
sold to Irvine. Endless dance.
Who decides where stories start?
Who determines those left out?
White man sails into a bay
blue pacific, golden day.
Mary Camarillo’s novel The Lockhart Women, published in June 2021 by She Writes Press, won first place in the Next Generation Indie Awards for first fiction. Her work has appeared in publications such as 166 Palms, The Sonora Review, Lunch Ticket, and The Ear. She lives in Huntington Beach, California.