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Archive for January, 2011

Fog

Fog in the city is a living thing. At dawn, it lies quietly in the street. A skyscraper lives up to its name, piercing the gloom like a mountain peak emerging from the clouds, reflecting pink light from the east. Around it steam rises from lesser buildings, as smoke from a burning city. The sky is flecked with rosy clouds and an occasional star.

The fog awakes, stretching; it emerges from its concrete bed, encompassing everything. The skyscraper – the very sky – are no more. Only gray remains, and the street below my window is alone in the world.

It shifts again. The streets are clear, as if this were any overcast day. The skyscraper moves in and out of view as the mist hovers and glides catlike around it. Here is a sharp corner; there a glint of sun on glass; now, nothing.  And then again, a faint shadow where the tower stood sharply but a moment ago; in another moment, gone.

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Full moon

The sky lies flat like a satin navy blanket, dark and distant, speckled with a few weak stars. Two contrails streak across, reflecting an otherworldly glow, suggesting spacecraft. Directly overhead, the full moon in all her brilliant glory gives credence to the myths of the power of moonlight. Mysterious, magical, with a light unlike any other, she beams down on the sleeping world, dimming the stars, giving an eerie, almost daylight glow to the midnight city.

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Predawn city

The city gleams, as cities will, all incandescent sparkle and reflective asphalt. Headlamps, streetlamps, traffic lights, the gas station sign, all blaring their harsh brightness and visual noise. Above it all, another world looms, a night sky almost unreal in its permanence.

The full orange moon hangs low in the west, scant meters above the bustle. Brooding, glowing, huge and  dark, it underscores our temporary nature, our ephemeral state, our fragility, smallness, insignificance. It shines as it has since the earliest pre-dawn of time, while our lights merely flicker for an instant and are gone.

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Two seasons

Brilliant sunlight streams from the west, warm, cheery, sparkling in windows, brightening fresh white paint, red brick, pink glass. Colorful buildings stand out as if on a summer day.

Dark clouds in the east hang ominous, heavy with rain. They loom beyond the sunny cityscape, underscoring the fleeting nature of vivid daylight in dead of winter. In moments the yellow sun will set, and darkness will rule again.

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Crescent moon

The crescent moon

hangs in the east

against a lapis sky.

Beneath it

slowly

gently

dawn breaks;

soft pink, warm pale orange

the reflected glow brightening the river

amidst the still-dark city.

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