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Saturday, December 20, 2008

What color is the sky?

What color is the sky?
Copyright: Jim Penny, 2008
Word count: 614


The sky is blue in patches, in places, at times, and the shade varies by circumstance, season, and time of day. There is that deepest, most mesmerizing blue of the welcomed cool that signals the end of summer when the first push of Canadian air since last March shoves the resident Bermuda high into the central Atlantic, replacing the languid Caribbean humidity with a bracing pre-arctic chill, and there is the faded blue of the day just before when the air was nearly saturated with briny vapor brushed from the edges of Montego Bay, the Yucatan coast, and the teal phosphorescent waters of Bridal Cay where the clawless lobsters grow.

At dawn, the sky can be black with a red, yellow, sometimes orange, glow on toward the east greeting the birthing of the day, the waning of the stars, and the coming of sun, streaking, staining the angled, crumpled, stretching, hanging clouds; all sailors take warning. Sometimes the sun just rises without ceremony, witnessed by the grove of pine occluding the early glow, the black fading to gray, to blue, to bluer, to day, the stars erased from east to west, the dreams of fading slumber, embracing lovers, floating on the cool breeze of the morning, new again to burn to cinder and crumble in the piercing rays of risen sun.

Dusk, a dawn from the other side, is often more intensely colored, perhaps because the depleted air of ending day is warmed by the whispered despairing of mortal prayer, perhaps because the eyes of those who stop now to search the fading glow for what they missed in the light of day, perhaps because the upward lifting faces of the oh so many more who see, sharing, shining, blending, lending aura of the many human colors, tint the ending day, setting sun, holding hands, entwining fingers, and coming night, melding hues afresh, anew, each day.

The sky is gray in steady rain that falls and chills the silent bones of stalking winter hunters, that falls and warms the wiggling toes of laughing summer children chased by dads who warn of grass carp, that falls and whispers lurid taunts of long denied afternoon repose, that falls and lulls the morning sleeper back to dream again the colored thrill before the pain of morning light invades the sleep-filled eyes.

The sky is green and black and yellow and brown when summer storms hang moaning, low in the early afternoon, boiling, filled with wind and lifted summer ice, streaking fire; swirling, washing, rending, forcing unwanted focus to sentient thought, no longer glancing, leaping, rock to rose, now the simple point of ragged survival, an uplifted empty opened beak, screaming, sitting, rocking, off at an angle in the garden path, cracked eyes seeing shades and shapes, whispers of feathers that will never fly, wondering, wordless, the heartless strangely intense and newly felt radiant life giving warmth that will soon reduce the heart to dust.

Many colors make a sky, evolving verse and human condition, punctuated by cloud and star and bird and vapor trail, written on the skinless underbelly of heaven, calling for an early morning read by the few who can shake the spell of dreaming sleep, settling for the short lived glance in day of those who haven’t the time to read between the lines, spreading gentle solace to the fevered brow that needs just one more promise before the one day, and bundling tight the children sleeping and entangled lovers, who dream of one more day to play and love.

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