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A World Without Color

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Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels

  • Writer's pictureBernard Jan

The Age of Miracles

I never thought I would see the beauty in the dying of our planet, a slow extinguishing of life on it. First the birds, then the whole flocks of birds, then the grass, plants, trees, whales, other animals.

As days and nights become longer due to the slower rotation of the earth and 24-hour days are more a habit of living than a natural exchange of day and night, people become divided: the great majority returns to the old measuring of time, others opt to follow the extending course of nature and group themselves into new communities.

Gravity and magnetic fields are affected, solar super storms arise, the radiation showers through the damaged ozone layer. Daylight becomes too dangerous, forcing everyone to seek escape and life at nighttime.

People suffer from symptoms, plants can grow only in protected greenhouses, the polar light is painting the Californian sky followed by the first snow. The Sun brings death instead of life, fires are lightening up the horizon, people are moving from their homes or locking themselves in their houses and underground shelters. And the days are still getting longer and the planet is spinning slower and slower.

As the world as we know it is approaching to its catastrophe, there is an unnatural and quiet beauty in the irrevocable changes that are happening all over the planet, witnessed through the—a little too matured—eyes of an 11-year-old girl. Yet, some things don't change despite the omnipresent devastation—the expectations and pain of first love, losing friends, the test of her parents' marriage, all the little aspects of coming of age—as life is slowly extinguished day by day. People seem to be the only living creatures who adjusted and survived on the scorched earth and in an environment-turning-hostile. No one knows for how long though.

Destruction of our planet has never been so gentle, charming, calming and poetic as in The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.


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