Upcountry

Inland wayfarers halt at a ramshackle bivouac
off the beaten track by the vermeil light
of sunup for last-minute victuals
as they ready to surmount hurdles,
their eyes aloft toward the summit distant
and neutral to their quest, at best.

They espy just ahead amid cacti
the bleached bones of carcasses
picked clean by vulturous scavengers,
beneficiaries of time and chance.

Smoke from breakfast fires spirals
yonder into the plain, masking chaparral
and startling patterned rattlers
from their cozy dens onto the warmth
of earth cracked and peeling.

Equipped to ascend, the living know
well how impartial wilderness remains
toward civilization’s refugees
who place themselves at the mercy
of forces amoral and untamed;
yet life ever seeks other life,
undaunted by the pitfalls and perils
nested amid nature wild and inviting.

 

Freedom Tower

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One World Trade Center (1 WTC)
Lower Manhattan, New York City, NY/October 2014
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey/The Durst Organization
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill/David M. Childs/Silverstein Properties
the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building/an iconic New York landmark
a shining beacon for the new downtown/a bold skyline addition
tallest in new WTC Complex/104 storeys/1,776 symbolic feet
3 million rentable square feet of space/55-ft high office lobby
54 high-speed destination dispatch passenger elevators
spine of top-grade concrete trucked in from Brooklyn
life-safety systems far exceed NYC building code
safe, sustainable, aesthetically dynamic
bound by West, Fulton, Washington, & Vesey Streets
entrances on all 4 building sides are designed
to smoothly integrate traffic of visitors & office tenants
the cubic base has a footprint identical to the original Twin Towers
base surface clad in 2,000+ pieces of shimmering prismatic glass
edges chamfered back form 8 elongated isosceles triangles
a perfect octagon at its middle
culminating in a glass parapet whose plan
is a 150-ft-by-150-ft square, rotated 45° from the base
its crystalline form creates a vibrant effect/light refracts like
a kaleidoscope changing throughout the day
as the sun moves through the sky or pedestrians around the tower
One World Observatory = enclosed observation deck
rising 1,250 feet above street level
the crown of One WTC is a 408-ft spire consisting of a mast and
communication platform ring
each night, a beacon at the top sends out a horizontal light beam
seen from miles away
reasserts downtown Manhattan’s preeminence as a business center
reclaims New York’s skyline
connects seamlessly to the city with linkages to an extensive underground
transportation network
extends the long tradition of American ingenuity in high-rise construction
evokes the slender, tapering triangular forms
of NYC icons such as the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building
an innovative mix of architecture, structure, urban design, safety,
and sustainability
replaces almost 1/4 of the total office space lost on 9/11 in a single
building
a bold icon in the sky acknowledging the adjacent memorial
looks to the future as it climbs in a faceted form filled with, and reflecting,
light
[fortituderesiliencededicationdeterminationperseverancerenewalhope]

 

Brandon Marlon

Brandon Marlon

Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 165+ publications in 23 countries.

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