The morning has broken - I had thought of the morning like an egg that had split with a crack and was spreading. Before us lay all the green of the green country of England, with its rivers and it's roads and it's hedges, it's churches, it's chimneys, it's rising threads of smoke. The chimneys grew taller, the roads and rivers wider, the threads of smoke more thick, the farther off the country spread; until at last, at the farthest point of all, they made a smudge, a stain, a darkness - a darkness, like the darkness of the coal in a fire - a darkness that was broken, here and there, where the sun caught panes of glass and the golden tips of domes and steeples, with glittering points of light. 'London, ' I said 'Oh, London!
She finds tales everywhere, in grains of sand she picks up from the garden, in puffs of smoke that drift out from the chimneys of the village, in fragments of smooth timber or glass in the jetsam. She will ask them, "Where did you come from? How did you get here?" And they will answer her in voices very like her own, but with new lilts and squeaks and splashes in them that show they are their own.
We have not wondered enough at the delights God has given us to appreciate them, and be good stewards. We have overworked the land, poured pollutants into river and stream, fouled the air we breathe with gas fumes and chemical smoke spiraling up from industrial chimneys. We have sown the wind. We are reaping the whirlwind.
My once-keen analytical mind has become so dulled by endless hours of baking in the hot sun, thrashing about in tight chimneys, pulling at impossibly heavy loads, freezing my ass off.... so that now my mental state is comparable to that of a Peruvian Indian, well stoked on coca leaves...
Warren G. Harding
The American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA [and] charged that the agency was suppressing a scientific study for fear it might be misinterpreted... The suppressed study reveals that 80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees.
In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are halfconcealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends.... We enjoy now, not an Oriental, but a Boreal leisure, around warm stoves and fireplaces, and watch the shadow of motes in the sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau
By the year 1670, wooden chimneys and log houses of the Plymouth and Bay colonies were replaced by more sightly houses of two stories, which were frequently built with the second story jutting out a foot or two over the first, and sometimes with the attic story still further extending over the second story.
Alice Morse Earle
A few flat clouds folded themselves like crepes over fillings of apricot sky. Pompadours of supper-time smoke billowed from chimneys, separating into girlish pigtails as the breeze combed them out, above the slate rooftops. Chestnut blossoms, weary from having been admired all day, wore faint smiles of anticipation.
The city was asleep on its right side and shaking with violent nightmares. Long puffs of snoring came out of the chimneys. Its feet were sticking out because the clouds did not cover it altogether. There was a hole in them and the white feathers were falling out. The city had untied all its bridges like so many buttons to feel at ease. Wherever there was a lamplight the city scratched itself until it went out.
I wish we could grow up about it, I'm sure we are contributing to global warming, and we must do all we can to reduce that, but our climate has always changed. The Romans had vineyards in Yorkshire. We're all on this bandwagon of 'Ban the 4x4 in Fulham'. Why didn't we have global warming during the Industrial Revolution? In those days you couldn't have seen across the street for all the carbon emissions and the crap coming out of the chimneys.
Sometimes, looking up at Sophiatown... I have felt I was looking at an Italian village somewhere in Umbria. For you do 'look up' at Sophiatown, and in the evening light, across the blue-grey haze of smoke from braziers and chimneys, against a saffron sky, you see close-packed, red-roofed little houses. ...And above it all you see the Church of Christ the King, its tower visible north, south, east, and west....
Christmas Pie Lo! now is come our joyfull'st feast! Let every man be jolly; Each room with ivy leaves is dressed, And every post with holly. Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke, And Christmas blocks are burning; Their ovens they with bakemeats choke, And all their spits are turning. Without the door let sorrow lie, And if for cold it hap to die, We'll bury it in a Christmas pie, And ever more be merry.
If you really think there's a Santa, why don't you sit on the front steps all night in the freezing cold and see if he climbs down any chimneys tonight. Good luck. And since we're a family that isn't lucky enough to have a chimney, how would Santa get into our house? Does he bring a locksmith with him? And it probably would have to be a Jewish locksmith, because a Christian locksmith is going to want to be home with his family. And how many Jewish locksmiths are there? None.
Too much! Wait till you have lived here longer. Look down the valley! See the cloud of a hundred chimneys that overshadows it! I tell you that the cloud of murder hangs thicker and lower than that over the heads of the people. It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn. Wait, young man, and you will learn for yourself.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Their bodies will be raised from the dead as vessels for the soul-vessels of wrath. The soul will breathe hell-fire, and smoke and coal will seem to hang upon its burning lips, yea the face, eyes, and ears will seem to be chimneys and vents for the flame, and the smoke of the burning , which God, by His breath, hath kindled therein, and upon, them, which will be held one in another, to the great torment and distress of each other.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap And seeing that it was a soft October night Curled once about the house, and fell asleep
T. S. Eliot
Knightley Academy stood out against the moonlight in silhouette, a ramshackle collection of chimneys, turrets and gables. Both boys stopped to take in the sight of the manicured lawns and tangled woods, the soaring chapel and the ivy-covered brick of the headmaster's house. They were home. For this, Henry felt, was home. Not some foreign castle encircled by guard towers, but this cozy, bizarre assortment of buildings with its gossiping kitchen maids and eccentric professors and clever students.
The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats. Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.
The captain was amusing. He said that he himself couldn't draw and proved his words by drawing his own house for his prisoner to see. It was just such a house as the babies drew in the kindergarten: a square box with four square windows, a door and two chimneys, each with a neat curl of smoke. "That's best I can do, " said the Captain, laughing. Max laughed with him for politeness' sake, though inwardly he was shocked that an important man like the Captain made a fool of himself. "Vater does not draw, " he said kindly, "nor does Mutti; but they are both very keen on photography. Perhaps you are good at that?" "Not brilliant, " said the Captain.
Walking the streets on winter nights kept him warm, despite the cold nocturnal passions of uprising winds. His footsteps led between trade-marked houses, two up and two down, with digital chimneys like pigs' tits on the rooftops sending up heat and smoke into the cold trough of a windy sky. Stars hid like snipers, taking aim now and again when clouds gave them a loophole. Winter was an easy time for him to hide his secrets, for each dark street patted his shoulder and became a friend, and the gaseous eye of each lamp glowed unwinking as he passed.
This is a valley of ashes--a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of gray cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-gray men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Winter came in days that were gray and still. They were the kind of days in which people locked in their animals and themselves and nothing seemed to stir but the smoke curling upwards from clay chimneys and an occasional red-winged blackbird which refused to be grounded. And it was cold. Not the windy cold like Uncle Hammer said swept the northern winter, but a frosty, idle cold that seeped across a hot land ever lookung toward the days of green and ripening fields, a cold thay lay uneasy during during its short stay as it crept through the cracks of poorly constucted houses and forced the people inside huddled around ever-burning fires to wish it gone.
Mildred D. Taylor
She went to the window. A fine sheen of sugary frost covered everything in sight, and white smoke rose from chimneys in the valley below the resort town. The window opened to a rush of sharp early November air that would have the town in a flurry of activity, anticipating the tourists the colder weather always brought to the high mountains of North Carolina. She stuck her head out and took a deep breath. If she could eat the cold air, she would. She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps. In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting. They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.
Sarah Addison Allen
Eleven years she had lived in the dark house and its gloomy garden. He was jealous of the very light and air getting to her, and they kept her close. He stopped the wide chimneys, shaded the little windows, left the strong-stemmed ivy to wander where it would over the house-front, the moss to accumulate on the untrimmed fruit trees in the red-walled garden, the weeds to over-run its green and yellow walks. He surrounded her with images of sorrow and desolation. He caused her to be filled with fears of the place and of the stories that were told of it, and then on pretext of correcting them, to be left in it in solitude, or made to shrink about it in the dark. When her mind was most depressed and fullest of terrors, then, he would come out of one of the hiding-places from which he overlooked her, and present himself as her sole resource.
Ma!" she cried. "There is a Santa Claus, isn't there?" "Of course there's a Santa Claus, " said Ma. "The older you are, the more you know about Santa Claus, " she said. "You are so big now, you know he can't be just one man, don't you? You know he is everywhere on Christmas Eve. He is in the Big Woods, and in Indian Territory, and far away in York State, and here. He comes down all the chimneys at the same time. You know that, don't you?" "Yes, Ma, " said Mary and Laura. "Well, " said Ma. "Then you see-" "I guess he is like angels, " Mary said, slowly. And Laura could see that, just as well as Mary could. Then Ma told them something else about Santa Claus. He was everywhere, and besides that, he was all the time. Whenever anyone was unselfish, that was Santa Claus. Christmas Eve was the time when everybody was unselfish. On that one night, Santa Claus was everywhere, because everybody, all together, stopped being selfish and wanted other people to be happy. And in the morning you saw what that had done. "If everybody wanted everybody else to be happy all the time, then would it be Christmas all the time?" Laura asked, and Ma said, "Yes, Laura.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Nothing truly beautiful without its element of strangeness, nothing whole without its own incongruity, these (Jacksonville-area pioneer house) ruins sand up from the earth in sacred conjunction. These ruins conjoin the earth and the manmade, moving from one to the other and back again. The Browards built their house out of shell and limestone, and limestone forms naturally from the shells and skeletons of miniscule sea creatures over great periods of time. The Browards shaped the earth upright toward the sky. THey shaped it with doorframes and windows and chimneys. THey shaped the earth up around them as a shelter. But shaped earth was always the earth. Now the walls fall back down and join once again the ground, taken over by roots of ferns and weeds and small trees. The house was always the ground, only contained in an upward suspension. The house was always the earth, but brought up into architecture, and now the house that was always the earth crumbles back into the earth and nourishes new green things - dog fennel and morning glories and palmettoes and cabbage palms and cedars. A true symbol of sacredness of the earth is earth's reclaiming of human ingenuity.
Admirable, however, as the Paris of the present day appears to you, build up and put together again in imagination the Paris of the fifteenth century; look at the light through that surprising host of steeples, towers, and belfries; pour forth amid the immense city, break against the points of its islands, compress within the arches of the bridges, the current of the Seine, with its large patches of green and yellow, more changeable than a serpent's skin; define clearly the Gothic profile of this old Paris upon an horizon of azure, make its contour float in a wintry fog which clings to its innumerable chimneys; drown it in deep night, and observe the extraordinary play of darkness and light in this sombre labyrinth of buildings; throw into it a ray of moonlight, which shall show its faint outline and cause the huge heads of the towers to stand forth from amid the mist; or revert to that dark picture, touch up with shade the thousand acute angles of the spires and gables, and make them stand out, more jagged than a shark's jaw, upon the copper-coloured sky of evening. Now compare the two.
The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow. As we moved slowly through the outskirts of the town we passed row after row of little grey slum houses running at right angles to the embankment. At the back of one of the houses a young woman was kneeling on the stones, poking a stick up the leaden waste-pipe which ran from the sink inside and which I suppose was blocked. I had time to see everything about her-her sacking apron, her clumsy clogs, her arms reddened by the cold. She looked up as the train passed, and I was almost near enough to catch her eye. She had a round pale face, the usual exhausted face of the slum girl who is twenty-five and looks forty, thanks to miscarriages and drudgery; and it wore, for the second in which I saw it, the most desolate, hopeless expression I have ever-seen. It struck me then that we are mistaken when we say that 'It isn't the same for them as it would be for us, ' and that people bred in the slums can imagine nothing but the slums. For what I saw in her face was not the ignorant suffering of an animal. She knew well enough what was happening to her-understood as well as I did how dreadful a destiny it was to be kneeling there in the bitter cold, on the slimy stones of a slum backyard, poking a stick up a foul drain-pipe.
It had all begun on the elevated. There was a particular little sea of roots he had grown into the habit of glancing at just as the packed car carrying him homeward lurched around a turn. A dingy, melancholy little world of tar paper, tarred gravel, and smoky brick. Rusty tin chimneys with odd conical hats suggested abandoned listening posts. There was a washed-out advertisement of some ancient patent medicine on the nearest wall. Superficially it was like ten thousand other drab city roofs. But he always saw it around dusk, either in the normal, smoky half-light, or tinged with red by the flat rays of a dirty sunset, or covered by ghostly windblown white sheets of rain-splash, or patched with blackish snow; and it seemed unusually bleak and suggestive, almost beautifully ugly, though in no sense picturesque; dreary but meaningful. Unconsciously it came to symbolize for Catesby Wran certain disagreeable aspects of the frustrated, frightened century in which he lived, the jangled century of hate and heavy industry and Fascist wars. The quick, daily glance into the half darkness became an integral part of his life. Oddly, he never saw it in the morning, for it was then his habit to sit on the other side of the car, his head buried in the paper. One evening toward winter he noticed what seemed to be a shapeless black sack lying on the third roof from the tracks. He did not think about it. It merely registered as an addition to the well-known scene and his memory stored away the impression for further reference. Next evening, however, he decided he had been mistaken in one detail. The object was a roof nearer than he had thought. Its color and texture, and the grimy stains around it, suggested that it was filled with coal dust, which was hardly reasonable. Then, too, the following evening it seemed to have been blown against a rusty ventilator by the wind, which could hardly have happened if it were at all heavy. ("Smoke Ghost")
People walk the paths of the gardens below, and the wind sings anthems in the hedges, and the big old cedars at the entrance to the maze creak. Marie-Laure imagines the electromagnetic waves traveling into and out of Michel's machine, bending around them, just as Etienne used to describe, except now a thousand times more crisscross the air than when he lived - maybe a million times more. Torrents of text conversations, tides of cell conversations, of televisions programs, of e-mails, vast networks of fiber and wire interlaced above and beneath the city, passing through buildings, arcing between transmitters in Metro tunnels, between antennas atop buildings, from lampposts with cellular transmitters in them, commercials for Carrefour and Evian and prebaked toaster pastries flashing into space and back to earth again, I am going to be late and Maybe we should get reservations? and Pick up avocados and What did he say? and ten thousand I miss yous, fifty thousand I love yous, hate mail and appointment reminders and market updates, jewelry ads, coffee ads, furniture ads flying invisibly over the warrens of Paris, over the battlefields and tombs, over the Ardennes, over the Rhine, over Belgium and Denmark, over the scarred and ever-shifting landscape we call nations. And is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Werner Pfennig might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough? They flow above the chimneys, ride the sidewalks, slip through your jacket and shirt and breastbone and lungs, and pass out through the other side, the air a library and the record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it. Every hour, she thinks, someone for whom the war was memory falls out of the world. We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.