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Hot [Jul. 8th, 2018|07:11 pm]
The hour in the lower part of town is over, thank goodness. On very hot days it is always a few degrees hotter there than it is here. It's hotter here than it used to be, partly becasue over the last thirty years about half the trees in the neighborhood have been taken out— some because they became diseased, some because they started falling apart from age and became hazardous, some because they expanded so far into to utility lines that merely being trimmed back was no longer adequate, some because they were thought to be in the way of some private improvement, or because the owners simply didn't want to be cleaning up after them anymore.

It no longer feels much like a forest around here. More pavement is exposed to sunlight more of the day, as is more rooftop, and the heat just gathers, then lingers later into the night. But the higher elevation does still help a bit. What helps more is the heat rising from the valley floor (hotter than even the lower part of town) which, late in the day, starts pulling cooler air down from the mountains.

That's why the nights stay relatively cool. Still, relative is relative, and looking at the forecast today I see a long string of days in the nineties, and nights in the high sixties and, a few times, the low seventies. After the heat has been building up in the house all day those nocturnal temperatures are on the verge of useless.

Oh, summer, you torment. Brown fields, desiccating leaves, wilted flowers, panting dogs; I sometimes think there aren't enough peaches and watermelons in the world to make up for this.

Sunday Verse

Landscape with Poets

by Miroslav Holub

Some day when
everything's at rest,
in the curly landscape painted by Rubens
as a background for Baucis and Philomon,

poets will disperse,
in dark capes and hoods,
mute as the silhouettes of milestones,
as five-hundred-yard intervals to the horizon and

and in succession
will strum their electric guitars
and say their verse, strophe, poem,
like a telegram from one stone to another,

in succession,
like automated keys
on a pipe organ
fingered by monsoon rains,

solitary trees will
hum boskilly, sheep
will raise shaggy heads,
Orpheus underground will sound
the upper harmonic registers

and the words will float like clouds,
across the information threshold,
up to the shallow sky,
like proteinoids and oligonucleotides,
words as honest as chemical bonds,
words with the autocatalytic function,
genomic and decoding words,

and there will be
either a new form of life
or, possibly,