Storm clouds are merely mirage,
pink smears above dark hills,
a yearning wish for precipitation
meant to thaw a cold morning.
We huff along ocean trail,
exhale white exclamations
like two chilly dragons,
fire power extinguished.
Wan sunlight tricks the eye,
spins the illusion of falling rain
over golden slough, mist enclosed
sycamores, rounded top mountains.
Temperature drops; small flakes
flurry among subtle drizzle.
Charged air aches to transform
into a blizzard of wintery showers.
Chill sunrise instigates false hopes.
Deceptive morning glow radiates
the illusion of warmth over icy sea,
backlights frigid tree trunks.
Sweatered dogs wag their tails,
bark at gulls, prance across beach.
Walkers, wearing layered sweatshirts
and scarves, appear incognito.
Chimneys huff blue exhalations,
wood smoke wending through cypress.
Arctic temperatures persist,
continue their nose dive.
Dry sand stretches
from parched chaparral
toward ocean cove.
Mist drifts across sere hills,
collects among cypress needles,
hangs above wetland tules.
Cold air crackles,
sugars broken granite
with icy crystals.
Chilled mud ducks
paddle through estuary shallows
to protective willows.
Blue skies and high cloudsmagnify golden vistas.