The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Omens abound, here in the Newtown Pentacle, if only one is sensitive enough to notice their presence. It is not enough to merely cast off the callous of vision which develops during repetitions of the daily round, instead one must listen carefully to the suffering land of Queens which bears the terrible burdens of historical indignity and modern aspiration. Somewhere beneath the concrete devastations of industry and the vainglory of the urban planners exists a variegated and buried wetland.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once- salt meadows blessed with endless acres of coastal grass swayed in the Newtown breeze beneath the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself here, nourishing and maintaining a vast ecosystem. Birds existed in numbers great enough to blot out the sky, and the shallow streams and ponds sustained a teeming population of fish and invertebrates. When the Dutch came, they saw naught but swamps, and their English successors applied the term “Waste Meadows” to the place. It wasn’t until the period between the American Civil war in the 1860’s and the early 20th century, via the practice of landfill, that the area was fully opened for exploitation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This unfortunate avian, observed alongside the Sunnyside yard, would be viewed by the dross masses as merely another casualty of the modern age. Your humble narrator, with his eyes dilated by the absence of sleep and the concurrent intoxication of caffeine, sees dire portent instead. Mesmerized Valdemar, whom Poe described, might be able to offer some compact meaning to such omens- but one as wholly inadequate as myself is unfortunately incapable of such interpretation.


Written by Mitch Waxman

January 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

One Response

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  1. What could have killed that pigeon, Mitch? There’s no blood on the ground. Looks to me from your photo’s angle to be fairly in one piece when it conked out. A bird flu of some sort? BTW, I was once parked around 15 years ago in Calvary Cemetery all by muhsef, over in the section that’s by QBlvd. and 58th Street, just a bit south of the crucifixtion grouping up on the boulevard’s overlooking hill. I was relaxing taking a break in the car, reading the paper and drinking coffee, when a crow just fell out of a tree nearby, plummeted to the ground belly up from about 20 feet on high, and landed with a thud on the grass. No predators, no BB gun shots, no wind in the tree. Just straight down kerplunk. I guess the maintenance crew came by later after I was gone and threw it in the garbage. I figure to this day it had some kind of disease.

    georgetheatheist . . . mindful musings

    January 16, 2013 at 12:50 am

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