Monday, August 25, 2003

Dog Days

We've got Mars on the horizon. Tonite as I looked at it from my backyard, my house forming a sort of camera oscura to the streetlight out front, it burned menacingly. I'm looking down to fix the sprinkler and there it is, a glowing ember in the corner of my eye.

The president's numbers trend downward, the bloggers blog on, the Democrats are tucked away safe (for now) in Albuquerque and safe, for the most part, in the long term. And the war drags on, and those of us who have said from the beginning "I support the troops -- bring them home" are finding more and more friends and family waking up to this fact, only to realize it is too late, too late the genie has escaped pandora's box has birthed an ugly many headed monster who chips away, bit by bit, resolve as unshaken as those who would dream of saving us only to bring us to the same end dreamed of by terror: a shadowy image of our forbears.

The sprinkler spurts to life and begins to cover the parched soil with moist life. The grass here is burned dry in spots, already driven to hibernation by the burning Texas sun. Other patches bloom green, though they foster weeds. Will more water revive the dormant grasses ... or will it foster weeds and creeping midlewy death. Is it time to root out the dead thatch and chaff and prepare the soil for a new season?

What slumbers beneath the surface in this hard ground, a thin layer of dirt over caliche white limestone, in the chambers and passages like musky books of history on the grand scale, not the mundane day to day of our contemporary metropolitan existence. A culture clash pressure wave in the sea of time, old debts and insults not forgotten or masked by the gaudy jewelery of men selling promise and hope thru Coke.

Mars flickers, burnt embers to ignite the air on fire. Nergal in the land of Hammurabi, the god of the underworld, pestilence, famine. Osiros the egyptian Ares the Greek Sirius, the Dog Star, seirios aster, the burning star, outshined and outlasted ... but only for now ... eccentric orbits conspire only for now to bring my namesake closer to my home than it has been in long ages or will be again. And still it draws closer, until a tiny fraction of a moment of a second and then the waning begins.

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