The Coffee Shop: L.A. – Before First Light

The Coffee Shop is an open thread-style discussion forum for human interest news of the day.


There are several hosts, each host being responsible for picking a “theme of the day” and starting the discussion. But in an open thread, there’s no hard and fast rule about staying on topic, especially if you have a personal story burning a hole in your pocket trying to escape.

Pictures and videos are welcome in the comments.  If photos are used, please be sure you own the copyright. We would rather see your personal photos anyway, instead of random stuff copied from the internet.  Our only request is that if you use pictures or videos, take pity on those who don’t have broadband, and don’t post more than two or three in a single comment.

Coffee cup

This is an Open Thread. Grab your cup, pull up a chair, sit a spell and share what’s on your mind today.


One of the side effects of California’s never-ending drought is that fire season here in Southern California keeps starting earlier and lasting longer.  The Sand/Santa Clarita fire that just swept through 22,000 acres, destroyed 18 houses, and left a body behind — cause of death not yet determined — is just one example of what happens when conditions are this dry.

I wrote this poem a few years ago:

L.A. — Before First Light

My eyes flash open
in the cool-still-dark,
in the cool, still, dark.

There’s yet a memory of moisture in the air
before sun hits pavement and it shimmers away.

City-quiet, full of ticking clocks and traffic grumble,
waits for weary dreamers who will scuffle off to work.

Something’s out there
in the cool-still-dark,
in the cool, still, dark.

There! Just a taint of iron and copper,
seared-stone dust and leaf decay.

My tongue traces them over dry lips,
while nose stalks these acrid prey.

Sleep’s long gone
in the cool-still-dark,
in the cool, still, dark.

Now molten air pulses in morning-rush light
old dogs whimper-dream, restless before noon.

Wind-breath wafts ash over everything,
a brassy orange horizon maps first-spark.

Fire Season started
in the cool-still-dark,
in the cool, still, dark.

Santa Clarita fire

I’ve been having rain dreams this past week —
hope that some morning soon I’ll wake up
to the sound and smell of the real thing.

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
This entry was posted in Poetry, The Coffee Shop and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Coffee Shop: L.A. – Before First Light

  1. pete says:

    Get Inhofe to throw that snowball on it.

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    Where would he find one in Oklahoma in July?!

  3. pete says:

    As famous (or infamous) as the snowball was I’m surprised someone didn’t freeze it and sell it on E-Bay.

Comments are closed.