Friday, September 30, 2005

"And The City Now Has Gone"


The town of Holly Beach, LA destroyed by Hurricane Rita.

AND THE CITY NOW HAS GONE

How the clock moves on, relentlessly,
with such assurance that it eats the years.
The days are small and transitory grapes,
the months grow faded, taken out of time.

It fades, it falls away, the moment, fired
by that implacable artillery-
and suddenly, only a year is left to us,
a month, a day, and death turns up in the diary.

No one could ever stop the water's flowing;
nor thought nor love has ever held it back.
It has run on through suns and other beings,
its passing rhythm signifying our death.

Until, in the end, we fall in time, exhausted,
and it takes us, and that's it. Then we are dead,
dragged off with no being left, no life, no darkness,

no dust, no words. That is what it comes to;
and in the city where we'll live no more,
all is left empty, our clothing and our pride.

-Pablo Neruda, trans. Alastair Reid



Cameron, LA -- damage from Hurricane Rita.

What a difference a week makes – last week at this time worry and stocking up on water, and now the heat has finally broken; the sky is blue with a few high clouds reminding me of gentle waves – a beautiful day. But for thousands of displaced people in East Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi their lives are still uprooted. The humbling thought is next time it could be me, or any of us – the clock relentlessly moves on for all of us. The least we can do is stop and help someone along the way….

Habitat for Humanity

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