A Fitzgeraldian imagination of Las Vegas merges with the haibun in an exploration of an idealised cityscape.
Sunlight through the dark nights
illuminates the sand from fields of plazas,
a blinding epiphany.
I have heard many rumours in my life. Many were downright lies, and many more were over-exaggerations of some truth. It’s always been a hobby of mine to follow those breadcrumbs that lead some to an ‘eighth wonder’ , and to then thoroughly comb a place to see if such beliefs weigh true. Often, I end up finding nothing. But, on one unforgettable occasion, this trend was spectacularly broken. At a worn gas station in the middle of nowhere-Nevada, I heard an incredulous story from a chatty 10-year old boy wearing stained overalls. He told me about an unfathomable place that he encountered during his roamings, a place that was “miles o’ bright light from edge-to-edge, wi’ streets of gold an’ houses goin’ thru’ the night sky”-in his own words. I was eager to see if it was real or just a figment of the boy’s imagination. I sped on miles of cracking road cut through the baking waves of an inhospitable desert. As hot day turned to cool night, I noticed what seemed to be like another sunrise behind the dunes. Driving up and over, I saw the sight of The Meadows Strip for the first time:
A sea of blazing eternity,
white stones paved with gold
piercing the black, with yellow.
© Thomas Gallimore Barker, 2021