Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Air quality alert

the radio is
spitting the news between
melodic fragments and caustic
commentary like static interference

outside brittle grass
rubs the steps with an
itch and the sky's still thick and
stirred with smoke and summer heat

distant sirens caterwaul
cacophonic melody to the
old teasing dance of
dry lightning and heat

dingy clouds mound
behind the highest ridge
swearing to fire
in the next valley

brushing away the
throb that creeps in
as the wind shifts
restless directions

I breathe in the
altered air and
breathe it out again
nothing else to do

16 Comments:

Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Breathing ain't optional, regardless of quality!! "...caterwaul cacophonic melody" would love to hear those words sung together. Your air quality may suck today, but this poem is wonderful!!

8/16/2006 1:18 PM  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Wwwhhhhheeeewwww. Very fine.

Aside from loving the rhythm/sibilant tonal music in this...I also like the crispy, prickly-heat edginess.

8/16/2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger Firehawk said...

In this air,
they say, it's
a better thing
to crouch within
our houses, to
linger 'neath
these blankets,
to give in to
gravity and
dream fever
dreams upon
the sofa,

In this air,
they say,
every act,
ever breath
taken in
fully, every
step of the
morning jog
is a coffin
nail, and
it's a cheap
and evil fate,
this fog and
haze above us,
this tint of
red upon the
weather chart,
this nightly
news warning,
this sign of
things to come.

8/16/2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

Oh, MB, I have never seen these wildfires - they sound so awful! I am sorry that your air is clouded with this poison.

8/16/2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I'm sorry to hear of the fires, the drought, the smoke, the air. Reading this was hard, even my breath was affected...

8/16/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

You have put the words together to perfectly describe the challenges we face taking our next breath.
Fires are devastating - yet pollution is taking over our world- there is scarcely a spot left where it is safe to breathe the air...
Hoping you stay safe and that some rain comes soon and cleans your air!

8/16/2006 9:08 PM  
Blogger alan said...

With every day and every verse, you make me appreciate all that surrounds me!

I'm forever grateful!

alan

8/17/2006 12:07 AM  
Blogger chuck said...

This 'edgey' poem catches all the peril-filled anxiety of a fire-laden day.

8/17/2006 12:30 AM  
Blogger EATING POETRY said...

Wow, I feel like this represents the feeling when everything is falling apart, so almost in a state of shock you have nothing else to do but breathe.

Nicely put.

8/17/2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger mermaid said...

Acceptance is key.

8/17/2006 10:01 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Pat, exactly. You made me laugh, suggesting those words be sung! I'd like to hear that too! Or maybe not... Thank you.

Lori, you have a good ear as well as a good eye. Thanks.

Firehawk, thanks for leaving a poem on my doorstep!

Sky, the wildfires are not very close, we were just in the wind's path. This morning the air has cleared.

Brenda, sorry! ;-) I was a little grumpy, but trying to laugh at the same time. I hope that thread of dark humor came through too, though I'm not sure it did.

Endment, the wildfires are a natural part of the ecosystem here, as you may know. We have trees whose cones won't open to release the seeds for the next generation unless they are burned to a certain temperature. But the air pollution, yes, that's a problem. As Pat said, "Breathing ain't optional." Fortunately, a windstorm last night blew the bad air out.

Alan, thank you. Your words make me feel grateful.

Chuck, thanks!

Eating poetry, thank you.

8/17/2006 10:06 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Mermaid, we must have commented at the same time! Acceptance is one of the most difficult states of mind to access, sometimes.

8/17/2006 10:09 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

:) Not that you were 'grumpy' in the least; just that you were suffering... smoggy air, high pollution index. That was why "hard to read"... don't want you to be in discomfort, if you know what I mean.

8/17/2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Brenda, thanks. I appreciate your good wishes!

8/17/2006 1:00 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I can feel the humidity-and the opressive dark clouds-brilliant

8/20/2006 9:48 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Sue, thanks!

8/21/2006 7:51 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home