By Nicky Beer
Citizens, awake! These are not the low, mild
clouds of your usual daybreaks—behold
the slowly-advancing arms of the apocalyptic
monster, already filling with a pink, sinister light!
The city is a coral reef flaunting electric crustaceans,
a lewd feast laid out for him under the heavens.
He will fiddle harshly the nude steeple of the church,
thump the opera house roof in a savage tom-tom.
His music will make the pauper priests and debutantes
run wild in the street, shucking moth-eaten cassocks
and silk-and-diamond unmentionables to careen
off one another like lascivious pinballs.
Look out, schoolteachers! He's come to suck the bones
from your bodies, to toss your slumping skins
like hobo overcoats into the gutters where you'll
spend your last breaths belching out chalk dust.
The savage urchins, those diminutive monsters
who set fire to the backs of stray dogs—
all at once they'll shriek in terror to see
their fingers turn to sardines in his thundering shadow.
The public monuments will swarm with snails,
their slime-trails a griffonage of queer divinations.
Don't bother running to the sewers to hide—
the pipes have already come alive in their catacombs, ready to strangle.
Citizens, it's all his! Your only chance now is to sprout
another quartet of limbs and clear the way as he unfurls
down the thoroughfares a hundredfold, while the paving stones
squeal like spinsters under the thick, obscene banners of his arms!
The kids had no school due to teacher's meetings on Monday, so we met my Paul's parents at the visitor center at Catoctin Mountain National Park. The leaves were a bit past peak but the weather could not have been more beautiful -- about 60 degrees with mostly clear skies -- so we hiked to two spectacular views at Hog Rock and Blue Ridge Summit Overlook. Then we drove to two of Frederick County's three remaining covered bridges, Loy's Station and Roddy Road, where there were more colorful leaves at the lower elevations. My in-laws took us out for dinner at the Cozy Inn, oldest continuously operating restaurant in Maryland run by the family that founded it, which regularly serves the staff at Camp David and has been visited by dozens of presidential visitors.
Daniel and Adam atop Hog Rock on a Catoctin Mountain nature trail.
They always appreciate the many rocks to climb on...
...like this one, which Adam scaled before we reached the base.
This is Loy's Station Covered Bridge, which the Union Army traversed during the Civil War.
Here is the bridge from the other side, with my family in front.
And this is Roddy Road Covered Bridge, which traverses a smaller stream.
Here is the entrance to the Cozy Inn, which has a caboose permanently attached.
The museum has a small Camp David museum with exhibits about each president at the retreat.
We got home in time for Heroes, about which I have little to say (bored with traveling circus, fed up with history rewriting, no longer care about long-term regular characters, sick of resurrections of some first-season characters and rewritten backstories of others). Then we watched Monday Night Football, since Philly apparently plays better when we don't watch than when we do -- I am perfectly happy with the idea of the Saints as Super Bowl champions -- and Jon Stewart's team coverage of sports fans was a delightful ending to the evening.