Espejo de Edimburgo

Despierta el frío del amanecer.

Empenumbrado,

me asomo al espejo del crepúsculo:

la reyerta del pálido Sol

con la paulatina niebla

abandonada por el insomne mar.

Duda la noche, duda la mañana.

Témpano de saltadas venas en destello,

la prístina cumbre del Arthur’s Seat aparece

al equívoco rayo de la aurora,

al desolado triunfo del día sobre las tinieblas

que impone el necio parpadeo

del íntimo vislumbre de mi silueta,

temblando, en el vaho de la ventana.

Juan Luis Campos

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Electric Brae

The Electric Brae is a gravity hill in Ayrshire, Scotland where cars appear to be drawn uphill by some mysterious attraction. The Lowland Scots word brae means a hill-slope or brow (with which it is cognate), and the “electric” name was given when electricity was a new technology associated with strange forces.

There is more than one stretch of road known as Electric Brae, but the most famous is on the A719, south of Dunure, not far from Ayr, and heading east towards Maybole. Though the road appears to be running uphill, a suitably free-running vehicle will slowly move off from a standstill. Metal road signs which used to mark the place have tended to be taken by visitors, and have been replaced by a stone cairn which is inscribed with an explanation (conversions to metric not in the original):

“The ELECTRIC BRAE”, known locally as CROY BRAE.
This runs the quarter mile [400 m] from the bend overlooking Croy railway viaduct in the west (286 feet [87 m] Above Ordnance Datum) to the wooded Craigencroy Glen (303 feet [92 m] A.O.D.) to the east.
Whilst there is this slope of 1 in 86 upwards from the bend at the Glen, the configuration of the land on either side of the road provides an optical illusion making it look as if the slope is going the other way.
Therefore, a stationary car on the road with the brakes off will appear to move slowly uphill.
The term ‘Electric Brae’ dates from a time when it was incorrectly thought to be a phenomenon caused by electric or magnetic attraction within the Brae.
During the Second World War, the brae was visited by many American personnel from the air-base at Prestwick, and General Dwight D Eisenhower who had a flat nearby at Culzean Castle brought visitors to see the phenomenon. In 1992, the name was brought wider fame by the novel Electric Brae by Andrew Greig. The name has also been applied to other slopes in Scotland: for example, on the Struie Road in Easter Ross, about ten miles (15 km) from Ardgay

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THE GAME OF CHESS

In their grave corner, the players
Deploy the slow pieces. And the chessboard
Detains them until dawn in its severe
Compass in which two colors hate each other.

Within it the shapes give off a magic
Strength: Homeric tower, and nimble
Horse, a fighting queen, a backward king,
A bishop on the bias, and aggressive pawns.

When the players have departed, and
When time has consumed them utterly,
The ritual will not have ended.

That war first flamed out in the east
Whose amphitheatre is now the world.
And like the other, this game is infinite.

II

Slight king, oblique bishop, and a queen
Blood-lusting; upright tower, crafty pawn–
Over the black and the white of their path
They foray and deliver armed battle.

They do not know it is the artful hand
Of the player that rules their fate
They do not know that an adamant rigor
Subdues their free will and their span.

But the player likewise is a prisoner
(The maxim is Omar’s) on another board (1)
Of dead-black nights and of white days

God moves the player and he, the piece.
What god behind God originates the scheme

Of dust and time and dream and agony?

Jorge Luis Borges

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Morning

I love to wake to each new day,
And brush my dreams
Of night away,

And look out through
my window wide
To see what weather is outside,

And wonder what exciting thing
This shining, un-used day
Will bring.

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Today I Saw a Butterfly

Today I saw a butterfly,
as it floated in the air;
Its wings were spread in splendor,
Unaware that I was there.
It was such a thing of beauty,
It was a sight to see;
It was the perfect masterpiece,
Full of grace and majesty.

I found myself thinking,
to what can this compare?
And then, of course, I thought of you,
And I wished that you were there.

God sure was extra careful,
When He formed and fashioned you;
You too, became a masterpiece,
Yet God is still not through.

He’s daily making changes,
that other folks can’t see;
You’re already true perfection,
At least you are to me.

~ Author Unknown ~

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Morning

I love to wake to each new day,
And brush my dreams
Of night away,

And look out through
my window wide
To see what weather is outside,

And wonder what exciting thing
This shining, un-used day
Will bring.

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