January 17, 2014

Waking Up to an Orange January Sky. {Poem}

Stepping outside to set down the dog’s water dish,
The faint scent of barbeque was in the morning air
A peculiar smell to detect at eight o’clock in the morning.

The sun was out and shining brightly,
But as I drove my son to school
We noticed billowy gray clouds against the otherwise crisp blue horizon.

As we traveled, the clouds became more ominous,
The shades of gray seeped into black
The clouds were not clouds, but dissipating veils of thick black smoke.

The veils traced back to a wall of heavy black smoke,
Rising from the mountains
Turning the blue sky orange.


Somewhere an angry fire burned,
Making its presence known from the valleys to the oceans
The smoke and ash reached their long wispy arms all over the slowly waking city.

The smoke was everywhere,
Not even the ocean breezes could dissipate it.
The iridescent colors of the horizon were somehow beautiful and disturbing at the same time.

The air felt hot, dry and dirty
Standing outside felt grotesque, you didn’t want to inhale
People retreated indoors, but couldn’t keep the orange light from seeping through windows.

Somewhere, someone’s home burned.
Somewhere, streets were jammed.
Somewhere, sirens howled.

Everywhere, smoke and ash filled the skies.
Searing images of rampant burning flames flooded the newsfeeds.
Fire burns, out of control
Spreading its wrath all over the City of Angels.

Strong winds continue to blow
The city holds its breath
As the flames continue to spread and grow.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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