Monday, February 1, 2016

Magpie 304 -- City Shadows

Photo courtesy Magpie Tales

We built them tall, for the shadows. Oh, we knew, from the time we spent beneath ones we didn't design, that shadows were swarming, just a breath away. Too many, too full. So we built these, thinking we were building places for us, believing these interiors are for our needs and the exterior for some lordship of artistry. But we were building our own massive shadows, our own obelisks that marked the boundaries of our space and our time.

And we did gain those spaces, banishing all we could. Even light had to be bound within our shadows. When the shadow of the building falls across me as the afternoon advances, I relax. It points toward the street, to the space that moves like water but is metal and tar and crushed gravel, dangerous but governable. I have yet to go down that street, have yet to feel the edges of those buildings, to check for the kind of rot I've felt along the streets behind me, however massive their buildings might be.

This kind of rot grows from sunlight, from water and light and the weakness of concrete. Sunlight calls down to the soil beneath the sidewalks.

I follow the generous shadow, promising myself I won't weaken these edges any further. Not this time. Not here.


  1. I find these shadows are in the making of way to many... a haunting walk in such a cityscape.

    1. The more I looked at the painting, the more I saw them.

  2. i like the first few lines, how they describe tension between culture and nature. how we manipulate the sun to cast shadows behind buildings we built. beautiful!