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   21.04.2017 - Winter way

Concrete road stretching to the horizon.
Trees along the edges. Twisted, dead.
Clouds, clouds, hanging low, grey and suffocating.

Sun above shining through alpine air
Enchanting silence rings between bluish sea grey plains
Barely interrupted by puffs of a hot air balloon's burner.

On the ground but off the road
Appears an abandoned uranium mine: ghost city.
A solitary sentinel with burning eyes tells stories 'round a fire
Stories of lost greatness, of lost years.

On the track but off to the other side
Are trees, forest, & grove, and then: a clearing.
In the clearing there are tanks, long forgotten
E'en longer lost, but still intact with diesel still inside.

The rocks crumble under the tracks,
Tank crests another hill,
Rushing along the concrete road stretching to the horizon.

Looping road, should have been cut straight.
Cracking dead trees, more shattering and cracking,
Then Silence.
Clear snowfield ahead
Cracking once again, suddenly.
The tank lurches down a river,
Ice of limited strength.

Leaving the still-bubbling hole behind, hiking down the river.
The landscape changes gradually:
The snow, compacted along the middle of the river,
Tire tracks, short cliffs on the right, village ahead.
Wooden houses on the waving half-a-hill,
Delimited with tree-trunk fences, speckled with rare bushes.
Near them blocks of ice, cut out, and snow mounds.
There is life.
There is no living.

There is no road after the village,
Only the former tundra waving with snow dunes.
Twisty snow snakes, casting weird shadows
With the slowly rolling sun, circling along the horizon.
A herd of deer walk in the distance.

Nightfall. Cold dispels all cloud remnants.
Stars shining through frosty-clear air,
Stardust scattered across the sky,
Infinite sharpness blurred by atmosphere, blinking friendily.
The air itself glows, slightly phosphorecent.
Closer to the horizon, a faint halo rises--
Sunshine reflected straight back by interplanetary dust,
Like the car's headlights reflected on road signs.

They say there should be auroras in these latitudes.
They say there should be auroras in these latitudes:
Green arrows piercing the heights of the sky,
Green arrows piercing the veil of the night's sky
Joining into strips from horizon to horizon,
But no...the night was empty:
Desolate infinitude.

Show no concern.
Polar night lies ahead,
To be seen more than once.
"Ahead," the legend says, "are forgotten lands, the frozen El Dorado."
Somewhere over there are cities that glitter with all the colours,
Where dreams manifest.
Somewhere over there, behind the cold and the frost,
Behind the snowstorms and the darkness,
The tundra, the ice, and the axis of the Earth
Form the path to the brighter future.

Maybe you can reach it, some day,
Or maybe you cannot.
But there is always the Road
Always, at least, the Road.

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