Smoky City


Every day

time stands still

stupefied by heat and smog–

this strange oppressive greyness 

that crouches over the city 

obscuring the view.

Every morning the sun sends ruddy orange beams

through my glass porch door

like a joke played by someone

with a giant coloured flashlight

pretending we’ve woken up on Mars.

The mountains have disappeared in smoke,

the interior forest fires making 

an imaginary conquest of the coast.

Even the rooftops three blocks away

have been engulfed by this grey Nothing.

My kids don’t care.

They play outside oblivious to all change

except the burning orb of the sun in the evening–

a giant fireball glowing red

a perfect sphere glaring at us

like the eye of Mordor.

“Take a picture, take a picture!” they cry,

but for once my iPad mini camera doesn’t do it justice 

and we are forced to just stare long enough

to imprint the image in our memories 

next to distant recollections of clear blue sky.

We woke up on Mars…

  
This summer morning we woke to the strangest golden light emanating through the blinds…thick light and far brighter than it should have been for 8 am, but not in a usually perky morning sunshine kind of way…but heavy and strange.

We went outside to take a look. The clouds were oddly dark for the brightness of the air, and looked almost dirty, like a white blanket a kid had spilled juice on and then dragged through the sandbox. But the strangest of all was the sun. It was a perfectly round pink ball, and we could look right at it without hurting our eyes. My iPad couldn’t capture the huge, glowing pink eye in the sky…an apparition form Mordor!

“Maybe the moon stole all the light from the sun,” suggested my 5 year old. But when I looked up solar and lunar exclipses, nothing was reported. Maybe forest fires? Or maybe we really just woke up on Mars…and have become aliens in our sleep!