Things That Glow

by John Olson

The red light on our kitchen stove when one or more burners are on, or the stove.

The sections of glass in the Tiffany lamp under which our cat sleeps: buttons of amber, a butterfly with red and black wings, green leaves and white morning glories with yellow stamens.

The moon.

The tiny green light flashing in the lawn of an apartment building one night that caught Roberta's attention while we were walking home from Café Vita. We were mystified. I bent down to look more closely. It turned out to be a warning light for a small lawn sprinkler.

The band of light on the CD player in our '94 Subaru that flashes “reading” or “untitled” whenever we slide a CD in for play.

The Hall of the Eye at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

The colors in a dream.

Cephalopod luminescence.

Roof top cab signs.

The Christmas lights in the small glass jar covered with white lace that is currently situated beneath a large pine bookcase whose sides I carved in the front yard of a friend in the Santa Cruz mountains near Los Gatos and whose pattern I took from a book on Viking carving and consists of birds sitting amid foliage with berries in their beaks.

Traffic lights.

Motel signs, particularly the ones found way out in the desert, or great plains, in places like Kansas, or Missouri. The pop and ice dispensers at such motels. The silhouettes behind the curtains.

Streaks of orange and violet and gold at sunset.

The Nocturnal House at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo which housed fruit bats, a two-toed sloth and three-banded armadillo and had to close in 2010 due to budget constraints. I miss seeing the fruit bats hanging upside down, cocooned in their membranous wings, silent and still except for the occasional wriggle.

Bright yellow leaves constellating the sidewalk in late fall after it has freshly rained.