All I Know I Learned at BHS

All I know about life I learned at BHS

April 2019 Poems


wiki on Berkeley High School

all that I know about life
and how to deal with people


I learned while attending BHS
in Berkeley, California
back in the distant 70’s

so many memories
so many different people
from all over the world
in what was the most multicultural high school
in the country back then

4,000 students
from everywhere in the world
yet we were all together
and learned to get along

I ran for student body president
and won the election
no one thought I would win

For I was a classic nerd
but somehow I won the election
and somehow managed
to keep our little student council
working together

in the midst of terrible times
all around us
the ending of the Vietnam war
Watergate and other corruption news

the 1974 election
student activism

in the first high school
to offer African American studies

the class that had launched
the black panther party
Jimmy Hendrix’s last high school

I took Latin one of the few public schools
that still offered Latin
and was on the debate team

but always taking a far right wing theme
as complete mockery
decades before Stephen Colbert
perfected it

yes everything I learned
in life
began at Berkeley High School

Berkeley California

Growing up in the 60’s
In Berkeley
almost 50 years ago

I think back
At those turbulent times
Those crazy wonderful times

Berkeley is a wonderful place
In many ways

Stuck forever in 1967
A true time travel experience

Every time I go back
And relive the memories
Of the 60’s

The 60’s never died
They continue

In college towns
Across the world

And Berkeley
Remains the mecca
Of the counter
cultural revolution

Many things have changed
But the organic food revolution
Became mainstream

Marijuana spread out
The sexual revolution
Became mainstream

So much of the world
Is but a reflection
Of the revolution of the 60’s

And the conservative
That we are still fighting

So, I salute
My homeland
The center of my universe

My Name, My Name is John (Jake) Cosmos Aller From Berkeley

born in Berkeley 64 years ago
64 trips around the sun

My middle name
has nothing to do
with my being born
in Berkeley

although no one believes me
for it is such a Berkeley Cosmic sort of name
and suits me now
as the name of my on line blog
the world according to Cosmos

My great grandfather Daniel Aller
wanted an English translation of the family name

also spelled Eller, Oller, Alhaird
the family came from Hamburg

Aller river valley
and a town called Aller
founded by Huguenots
from France

Daniel found two choices
Cosmos and Universe
and chose Cosmos

as Universe well
that would have been a very Berkeley name
and not something that would work
in Republican conservative Yakima

so I was born John
never liked John
too many Johns in the world

so I adopted the name Jake
from a wild assed dream I had

in high school had a wild dream
shouting out whoa jake
jump back jack
turn around verdiack
slide aside Clyde
while riding a horse

and that became my catch phrase
called the Whoa Jake kid
and eventually just Jake

a few years ago
I became Cosmos
when I started publishing
my poetry

and so now
I am just

the barge

A barge
on lake Anza
in Tilden Park
Berkeley, California

beckoning me
imploring me
to dive off
into the cool water
of life

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