A poem by Mary Camarillo


Dunnells sailed into a bay

of blue pacific on a golden day,

called it New because he could,

claimed it his, for mankind’s good.


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, “in God we trust.

We found this first and we are just.”

Ignored old graveyards, buried bones,

ground up all the coggle-stones.


Forgot that Tongva fished these seas

until the Spanish brought disease,

granted land to Rancho Yorba,

sold to Irvine, paved suburbia.


Who decides where stories start?

Who determines those left out?

White man sails into a bay

blue pacific, golden day.



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