Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.
I am the way into the city of woe,
I am the way into eternal pain,
I am the way to go among the lost.
― Dante Alighieri, Inferno
Fire on the Hills
by Robinson Jeffers
The deer were bounding like blown leaves
Under the smoke in front the roaring wave of the brush-fire;
I thought of the smaller lives that were caught.
Beauty is not always lovely; the fire was beautiful, the terror
Of the deer was beautiful; and when I returned
Down the back slopes after the fire had gone by, an eagle
Was perched on the jag of a burnt pine,
Insolent and gorged, cloaked in the folded storms of his shoulders
He had come from far off for the good hunting
With fire for his beater to drive the game; the sky was merciless
Blue, and the hills merciless black,
The sombre-feathered great bird sleepily merciless between them.
I thought, painfully, but the whole mind,
The destruction that brings an eagle from heaven is better than mercy.
“Fire on the Hills” from The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, edited by Tim Hunt, Stanford University Press, 2001
For the past several days, the highs here have been well into the 100s, and the lows in the high 70s. Our usual afternoon sea breeze has been transformed into a desert dragon’s blast of fire.
Even the New York Times has taken notice:
Record Heat in Southern California, and
an Ominous Start to Wildfire Season
There are already over a dozen fires, all the way from California’s southern border with Mexico to our northern border with Oregon. One person has died, and dozens of homes have been destroyed.
by H.D. (1886-1961)
O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.
Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air –
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.
Cut the heat –
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.
“Heat” © 1982 by the Estate of Hilda Doolittle
- Eagle perched on dead tree
- Homes burning – San Diego Union-Tribune photo by Eduardo Contreras
- Wildfire 2018 – AP photo
- Wind, clouds and tree