Saturday, 3 November 2007

Fire Fog

Sliding amoeboid down the river's bend
It spread tentative wispy fingers through abandoned yards
'Til, gaining purchase in silent alleyways
It gathered:
Rooting through the leaf piles
Playing maypole with lampposts
Swallowing sound
And quilting empty streets in smoke-tooth amber;
It fed on chimneys
Grew stronger in steeples
As gaudy store-neon drowned in the cats-eye cloud
And lent a jack-o'-lantern glow to the blackness.
We watched the cotton sea from the hillside,
Waves lapping higher on each landmark
As it claimed even the sky...
And we swam at last,
Lost in the choking ocean
Throughout the haunted darkness
Until the sun could find us again.


A weird mood brought on by weird weather combined with smoke from a fire that was trapped in the river valley a few years ago. It was a very odd thing to watch, really. Under those windless circumstances the smoke really does look like some bizarre creature sending out pseudopods to eat the world. After a while all we could see of the town from the hill was the strange glow of the muted street lights and store signs.

I don't think I've captured it especially well, but I suppose it was one of those had-to-be-there moments.

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