Sunday, March 16, 2014

In the Land of Aluminum Skies

My father asks how I like living in the land of aluminum skies.

The Bainbridge Ferry coming into Seattle

Poetic as aluminum skies sounds, there’s the misapprehension
by those who don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, that our skies 
are always a veil a monochromatic shade of desiccated liver 
as far as the eye can see.

Our front yard on a snowy day

When I lived in the Sacramento Valley during high school
and college, Tule fog invaded each winter, the sun, 
nothing but a fond memory for weeks on end.

In Puget Sound though, my wall of windows frames an expansive
skyscape that kaleidoscopes throughout the day.

The western view from our dining room

Gray clouds layered thick like thundering club sandwiches
of charcoal and steel, pigeon and dove, slate and dolphin,
become taffy-stretched thin, gauzy layers of pale pantyhose
bunched around God’s ankles, then stack bulky like wadded
white sheets dulled by cold water washes.

Seattle from Eastern Bainbridge Island

Seattle from Eastern Bainbridge Island

And the blue, when it’s here, always looks Photoshopped, 
enhanced, too dramatic to be real.

Crowns of billowing clouds that make me think
Big Sky and Montana though I’ve never been there.

Manzanita Bay near our house

And when the sky is a clean slate, it’s not the pale
California robin’s egg blue, too shy to call attention
to itself. 

The blue here is royal, regal, a deep dazzling 
aerial ocean, iris and sapphire, cornflower and cobalt, 
powerful and intense, relentless as it commands the gaze.

Seattle Skyline from the Columbia Tower Observatory

The sunsets, when the sky is clear, flame reds and burnt 
oranges and scalding pinks in raucous ribbed tongues.

Sunset from our house

Sunset over Manzanita Bay from our kayak

Clouds are seared charcoal and ember and the day
dissolves into fire then ash. Each night a burnt offering;
each new dawn a blessing in the land of aluminum sky.

Family sunset kayaking

Manzanita Bay before a snowstorm

P.S. Dad: It's safe to say I love it here!

Winter sunset at Manzanita Bay

1 comment:

  1. My Dear,
    I'm delighted that you love it in the land of aluminum skies. But my heart keeps
    expressing the wish that you were closer to where I might hug you on a Southern
    California Sunny Day!
    Love ya,