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Behold! Within a half-digested mess
A floating, changing form of loveliness.
A scale of heat and oh, so deafening-
No wonder it can be bewildering.
Beneath it all is gloom and misery
But fortified it stands ideally.

The answer is a single English word.

Whoops! Just noticed the first line was lost in the copy paste.

Sorry, all!

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I think you are a

Cloud

Title: Don't Look For the Answer Locally

Computer data can be stored locally or in "the cloud".

Behold! Within a half-digested mess

Digest is a synonym for understand. A "half-digested mess" could mean something poorly understood, which could also be described as cloudy.

A floating, changing form of loveliness.

Clouds float in the atmosphere and come in many forms. Their shapes (which appear fluffy and soft) also change over time because they are made of gaseous vapor. Or, this refers to the phrase "on cloud nine", which means that something is pleasant.

A scale of heat and oh, so deafening-

C (celsius or centigrade) + LOUD (deafening). CLOUD.

No wonder it can be bewildering.

Cloudy can mean confusing and unclear, which are synonyms for bewildering.

Beneath it all is gloom and misery

Cloudy skies is a metaphor for sadness and/or darkness.

But fortified it stands ideally.

Possibly refers to how solidified water vapor is ice, which is solid and hard. According to the comments, it refers to the song Castle on a Cloud.

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  • $\begingroup$ google.ch/… $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Jun 6 '17 at 19:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ First line: Lo (Behold) inside Cud $\endgroup$ – Tom Jun 7 '17 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ Building castles in the air or on clouds is an idiom for daydreaming. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Jun 7 '17 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom You got it! $\endgroup$ – Hugh Meyers Jun 7 '17 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @HughMeyers And...what was the "first line" you lost? There's no first line right? $\endgroup$ – EKons Jun 9 '17 at 20:49
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Partial answer

The word is 'fly'

A floating, changing form of loveliness.

Butterfly is known for both floating and metamorphosis

A scale of heat and oh, so deafening-

Dragons have scales and breathe fire. They also fly. There are also Dragonflies

No wonder it can be bewildering.

Clearly this is referencing a bewilderfly...

Beneath it all is gloom and misery

a sadfly. Definitely.

But fortified it stands ideally.

Castlefly!

Title

Fly away to the answer

I may be slightly off on a couple of these.

Edit: in looking at Mike Q's answer, there's a reasonable chance I am slightly off on all of these.

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