Friday, March 11, 2011

Morning Yoga for Excavators


In high school (let's not think about how long ago that was), I used to be a rabid writer - lots of poems, short stories, and random little snippets that never made it further than a dozen words on a piece of paper. Having been following CDG's blog for months now, I am attempting a hesitant return to the world of creative writing for my own enjoyment.

The ground is frozen into a maze of rutted tire tracks. Small frozen puddles decorated with elaborate ice crystal patterns trapped in the grooves of the excavator tracks crunch and snap under heavy work boots.

Large shapes appear out of the darkness as the sun silently creeps closer to the horizon – massive dump trucks with mud caked tires, the arms of excavators rise above the frozen mud and exhaust like the necks of prehistoric metal monsters, smaller bobcats and rollers huddle between their larger cousins.

The choking rumble of equipment joins the insistent morning bird song.  Engines left immobile and exposed to the bitter temperatures overnight struggle to regain momentum.  Workers harshly encourage the movement of oil and pistons with each turn of the key.

Ephemeral clouds of gray exhaust taint the chill morning air - the type of air that pinches the noise and burns the lungs with each breathe.  Men huddle in groups warming their hands with steaming mugs of early morning coffee, their frozen breath rising in puffs like chain smokers and mixing with the gray clouds of exhaust from the myriad trucks and heavy equipment idling across the site.

Among the cacophony of movement and noise, one sleeping giant remains oblivious to the tumult.  The sun glints off the arm of the excavator as it wakes from its nighttime slumber. As if an extension of himself, the operator plays the controls with a surprisingly gentle hand to extend the excavator arm high up into the sky, pausing only slightly before curling the arm back in upon itself. As the sun grows from a mere pinprick of light on the horizon to a cold golden globe in the sky offering light but no only a cold winter heat, the operator continues his morning routine, slowly bringing warmth back to the lifeless frozen metal.


This piece is in response to the Red Dress Club prompt:
Write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly – and find the beauty in it.

10 comments:

Pepca said...

I like the machinery vs. nature opposition. Well written!

Valerie said...

This was a very original and brilliant, I might add, take on the prompt! Great writing!

Jack said...

Among the cacophony of movement and noise, one sleeping giant remains oblivious to the tumult. The sun glints off the arm of the excavator as it wakes from its nighttime slumber.

Jack said...

Oops, lost the other part of my comment. I really like that line above.

Galit Breen said...

You use such truly beautiful, unique words!

whispatory said...

I love that man and machine come together here to create life and beauty in what would otherwise be only utilitarian.

'the operator continues his morning routine, slowly bringing warmth back to the lifeless frozen metal.'

Jessica Anne said...

Great take on the prompt! I love the humanization of the machines. Your words are beautifully crafted too.

Angie @ The Little Mumma said...

Wow. This is so incredibly different from anything else I've been reading that I had to go back and read it again to get into this world with you. But even from the first read, it was so obvious that the way you put together words is amazing.

Nice work.

MrsJenB said...

This is a most interesting take on the prompt, and very nicely done!

Mandyland said...

I have to say, I've never really thought about the morning symphony of machine until I read this post. I really liked the direction you took the prompt.

Post a Comment