Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy in my little NJ hood

We talked about it, watched weather reports in advance of it, but few were truly prepared for what Hurricane Sandy would do to New Jersey.

This was how it began for me.

Wind blasting through Monday night, knotting up power lines and flinging trees around. I was not prepared for the massive blue electric blast right outside my apartment so my apologies for not capturing the most visually dramatic part of  the evening. It was more than fireworks; the power grid snarled in anger at the disruptive storm.

The lights wavered in my apartment as the power grid got clobbered. I about jumped out of my skin when a transformer burst. Eventually, The Dojo went dark and I was running on battery-operated gadgets. In the morning I saw some damage but I've not seen the really devastating stuff.

At the moment I am writing this blog at JFK Library a few miles from my place. It's one of the few public places with power and Internet access. I got here a few minutes after 10AM when it opened and the place was already packed. If I need to return tomorrow I will have to get here even earlier.

Damage along the shore is the most severe from what I hear on the radio. Haven't had the chance to see images. Internet access is spotty and naturally there is no TV.

I have been working every day though. One way or the other I have reported and written news for Xconomy. Not a herculean feat thanks to the library being in a part of town that either never lost power or recovered quickly (not surprising since town hall is nearby).

It's all a matter of time and patience until the power is back for everyone. Repair work and human recovery for those affected the most are another matter entirely.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away