Continent of Fire

Continent of Fire

Fly like the sun
from a surging ocean,
over man’s vast
dispersal in patterned habitats.

But let’s stay grounded …
At plains and prairies’ end,
sharp mountains loom,
obscured by residue

of fire. Many dim gray
columns of smoke rise,
slanted like sunbeams,
reversing, it seems,
the old image of radiant grace,
a sign
to score the acrid skies.

In highland plateaus,
in desert depths,
brushfire haze
buries the mine
works that lord over days
of dry, enclosed

cities. Over more
mountain ranges, down
the last rounded hills to the shore,
high chaparral’s left
seared beige and brown.

Evening smolders away
our power over night.
Outside our home, scorched, we wait
while losing light.