wildfires

just a little wind.

just the slightest breeze

kindles a dying spark into a healthy flame.

and the fires swept across the land.

stripped the meat off the land and

the ashes of the land are left behind.

how many houses burned? how many families fleeing? how many dollars lost?

 

Oh, billions. the smoke blurred your vision and

stung your lungs, and you were a hundred miles

away across the bay. yesterday

one started in the south too.

they’re uncontrollable now,

raging across the fertile farmland, spewing dark dust. and

the sky is red like blood.

the air will suffocate you.

 

Just a few words.

“Why does she have to be so smart?”

“I hate him.”

“She’s ugly.”

Be careful, just a little

breeze will get the spark going.

Too much and you’ll put it out.

Blow

slowly—and slowly it will spread.

The rumors have been planted, now

just harvest the weeds.

Reap the harvest that will feed no one

and will only cause pain.

 

It hurts deeper than any other pain.

How is this hate so strong?

It unites and

it destroys.

Maybe because

“it was a pleasure to burn.

A special pleasure to see things eaten,

to see things blackened and

changed.”

 

The groups who oppressed the Jews.

The groups who attacked the African Americans.

The groups who burned the hopes and dreams of

the natives, the women, the rainbow community.

They had hate.

Though it was hate in its most

extreme and violent form,

isn’t this the same feeling

at its core?

The fuel may be different,

but the fire is still the same, still

burning bright.

 

keep up with the news.

what happened today? another shooting? more deaths?

But what about that old man who sings to newborn babies?

But what about those people coming together to raise money for

the victims of the fires?

where’s the room for love?

love is a fire

too, just less wild.

it forges connections.

the people sit around for warmth,

they sit around with their marshmallows and chocolate,

they sit around talking

about the past, about their memories.

they talk about the future too, about their

dreams.

you can’t change the past

nor the future, but you can change

the present.

 

Finally, three

  long

  hard-fought

months—it’s over.

we did it,

we’ve always done it. So why

can’t we do it to this fire now, this fire that

wraps around the globe, this hostile fire whose

spark

was lighted at the dawn of time.

The grass is growing

again. The baby trees have a chance at

life. They are nurtured by the ashes of their parents.

Nature knows how to make the most out of a

tragedy, it knows how to find beauty in the

ugliest places. Arching over the world,

rainbows after a storm are a

promise, a reminder of

love.

 

New fires are being ignited,

who

will put them out?

This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world

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