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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Heathland Fire

Initial thoughts: steel birds
had flown in first before us
weaving nests
of barbed or razor wire
but got them into tangles on the ground
before they later lined
their Brave New World(ly) homes
with soot.

All this was bramble once
and not so long ago.
Where is the spot
on which I once proposed?
where we became engaged?
So difficult to tell.

A large oak (just a while ago)
is split as though by lightning.
Still standing
but in form a giant clothes peg now,
a concept sculpture maybe
for a West End gallery.
And in the pool -
I don't recall a pool -
its mirror image, grey and powdery,
ash-covered,
wavers slightly as
the more uncertain twin.

And here and there
a corpse or two - small animals
that did not have the legs to make it,
lost out to the wind that drove the flames
far faster than a man could run.

22 comments:

Mary said...

Fires cause such destruction (I'm sad especially for the animals that didn't make it); and sad also that the places where memories were made are also irreparably changed.

Rhonda Palmer said...

The way disbelief is described with these visuals is really, really good. "I don't recall a pool..." Thanks.

Windsmoke. said...

Its summer here in Oz and bush fires are always a threat around this time of the year especially wild fires fanned by hot northerly winds :-).

kaykuala said...

Dave,
Fire when small becomes conflagration when it is big. Either way it destroys memories of old and helpless little creatures. Real pity!

Hank

haricot said...

Some rayers of images came to be
clear at last in the last stanza...

Jim Murdoch said...

I witnessed such a fire once—just along the road from where we lived, an area I used to spend hours and hours—we drove past in the Dad’s car and I remember being struck by the heat; I had never imagined it could be so hot assuming it would be just like a normal fire we sat around only bigger. The second thing was how quickly the land recovered. When I saw it charred and blackened like that I imagined it would be years before it returned to normal, not weeks. Good poem, Dave. Especially liked the opening image.

Brian Miller said...

very nicely done dave...i could feel in your words how it feels to come home to such devastation...my grandfather was a fireman and saw much of the aftermath myself..

Old Ollie said...

Nature can be a sad place. I really like the tone of your poem.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Wonderful words, wonderful imagery.

Anna :o]

The Weaver of Grass said...

Moorland fires are started here each early Spring to burn the heather and rejuvenate it for the grouse breeding season. I often wonder if some grouse are destroyed in it.

Laurie Kolp said...

From a unique perspective you have captured the effects of fire both physical and emotional.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Beautifully written...sad.

eflores said...

Very sad, but well written poem! Thank you for sharing.

-Erick Flores

turtlememoir said...

I love this poetic journey through the ashes of what was and fog of what can't quite be remembered, to what remains... Beautiful use of language throughout puts me in the scene, like here:

Still standing
but in form a giant clothes peg now,
a concept sculpture maybe
for a West End gallery.

Rohit said...

awesome imagery
loved the line that said the insects that just couldn't make it..
your ability to write on simple topics so imaginatively is worth learning.I'll pick up from u.

zongrik said...

sad and emotional

Cait O'Connor said...

Sad poem about the power of fire.

Mishi said...

beautiful as ever!:)

Cloudia said...

change is a typhoon




Aloha from Waikiki

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Daanish said...

a nice one,word by word!!

Dave King said...

Mary
Yes, there is a great deal of sadness to such events, but it seems they are positive in their renewing effects on the land.

Rhonda
Hi, good to have your company and many thanks for the comment.

Windsmoke
Must be a very anxious time for one and all.

kaykuala
Indeed. Bush and heath fires can be very frightening.

haricot
Thanks for the observation.

Jim
I was just about to email you. Hadn't seen you around the blogs for a bit, and a friend mentioned that there'd been floods in your neck of the woods. Was wondering how you'd fared.

Thanks for the response. On a visit to the Canaries a few years back we had it explained to us that many of the pine trees there were fire-proof to a high degree. If and when there was a forest fire only the bark was burnt. The trees recovered almost instantly. It seemed a bit far fetched, but I've heard it confirmed since.

Brian
Thanks Brian. Good to have such a response.

Old Ollie
I agree: nature can be a sad place.

HyperCRYPTICal
Many thanks for this.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, I must say the same thought has occurred to me. We sometimes see farmers burning the stubble - though not for grouse, I think. I have the same thoughts on bonfire night: how do we know there aren't small creatures curled up inside?

Laurie
Generous comment.Thank you.

Elizabeth
Hi,thanks for your kind comment.

eflores
Thank you so much. Greatly appreciated comment.

turtlememoir
Hi A warm welcome to you, and my thanks for both your visit and your valuable comment.

Rohit
Good to have your visit and your kind comments. Thank you.

zongrik
Welcome. Thank you so much for responding to the post. Good to have your visit.

Cait
Yes, it was a sad moment. Thanks for saying.

Mishi
Welcome again, and many thanks for the kind comment.

Cloudia
Which is a good way of looking at it. Thanks.

Daanish
Hi. Really good to have your comment. You are most welcome.

Jenny Woolf said...

I am endlessly impressed by your ability to capture something in words in a way that I could absolutely never do. I think I can learn from your poems.