Doing these various needful things doesn't distract me for long. I still miss my routine and there's little chance I'll be able to create much of a new one anytime soon. This strange mini-metropolis still feels alien to me. It burgeoning suburbs look like everywhere else in California, so I always have the feeling I don't know where I am, and the older parts of the town with its old houses lining shady streets have always seemed sad to me. I'd like to be in a place that doesn't match my mood so perfectly. It's a mood I'd like to leave behind.
Still no word on the cats, though several times a day I look at pages of photos of animals brought down from the ridge. There are still apparently a few strays up there, and volunteers are still leaving food and water for them, but I don't know for how much longer. The handful of unburned houses in the town will not be reinhabited for some time to come, so any surviving cats who have not been removed will be living in a virtual wilderness. NO consequence of this disaster gives me more sorrow.
A City's Death by Fire
by Derek Walcott
After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city’s death by fire;
Under a candle’s eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar;
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why
Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails?
In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths;
To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath
Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.