Friday, December 13, 2019

the Great Fire, and us

climate disaster: whose fault?

three years ago, 
havoc roared across these forested slopes,

our childish whims drove us 
to feel our desires should be indulged,
every fossil fuel-driven toy bought, and used,
our vehicles using and wasting 
the accumulated power in the ground,
so that we can drive faster, further, easier,
so that we can make things for ourselves
that we don’t need, 
but, like an only child,
we can be spoiled by our parents,
we don’t want to hear “no,”
we don’t want to share,

at the same time, it is hard to comprehend
that the forgiving vastness of our planet
can be touched by our actions,
I have flown over the immensity of the Pacific Ocean,
and I “get” how dwarfed such a scale can make me feel,
conversely, I can still feel center of the universe,
and unnoticed as to the consequences of my actions,

surely, there is a God out there, who is in charge,
it was His will 
which decided which houses burned, 
which didn’t,

I disagree, 
I feel culpable, 
a part of the species 
which allowed disastrous climate change,
which allowed the drought and wind storm,
and took a small fire, kindled by willful adolescents,
to rage over these mountains,

a great beech, just up the valley,
succumbed to the winds, 
and the corpse of its falling
succumbed to the Great Fire,

many branches of rhododendron, and hemlock,
were easy for me to break clear today,
these three years have been enough for them to diminish,

the fungi feed, and fruit,

new flora feel their turn to seek the sky,

I feel the loss of what was,
I feel the lack of surety as to what will be.

by Henry H. Walker
November 30, ‘19

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