At the Mercy of flames

My muse has been resting after the release of my latest book – Magical Whispers. I am trying to stir her with the following prompt:

dVerse Poetics #428, “Poetry as Witness”: Frank writes, “So tonight poets, let’s bear witness in our local neighbourhood.”

When I chose to write about neighborhood wildfires, she reminded me of How Fragile is Life!

She told me to share that poem again. I’ve kicked her awake yet not satisfied with her half-hearted effort.

Here it goes:

Each year I witness,
Wildfires that ravage homes
Bringing along boundless misery.

I’ve only seen the smoke
But neighborhoods go up in it
Perish forever.

Hazy skies hold little promise
As we coop inside our homes
To avoid unhealthy air.

Life goes on for us
But it halts for those
Who were at the mercy of flames.
© Balroop Singh

Thank you for reading. If you have liked this poem, please share it at your favorite social networks.

If you like poetry, Check my latest book: Magical Whispers

Pick up your copy at Amazon. 

Things We Take For Granted

Today’s blue sky is special because we’ve seen it after 24 days.

We take many things for granted but today I am talking about blue skies and healthy air. Air that has been crying for attention for many years all around the globe. We battle with smoky air every year.

California wildfires rage every year but they started too early this time.

They were trigged by the lightning that danced across the skies on August 16 in the wee hours of the morning. It chose to touch the earth 10849 times! It crashed on my slumber too. I tried to go back to sleep but was impelled by the continuous thunderous strikes to get up and see. Dawn was breaking when I stepped out on my patio to watch this rare spectacle.

Dawn after lightning

A beautiful dawn
Wore a mask of devastation
Who could discern?

My grandchildren rang up early to share their interesting stories about being scared by the sound and then walked down the stairs to watch the sky from their living room. My imaginative grand daughter added much spice by linking them to Star Wars as my grandson nodded with delight.

The aftermath was horrendous with 367 fires, which have been blazing in the bay area and disseminating smoke all around us. Did we ever dream of being cooped up inside our homes, with windows closed due to unhealthy air?

As if Covid-19 was not enough! Plumes of smoke and ash in the skies polluted air quality miles away from actual fires. The blanket of smoke sat around us for almost a month. “We’re very worried about that combination this fire season, about wildfire smoke exposures and a raging pandemic,” said John R. Balmes, a medical professor at the University of California at San Francisco.

Pictures speak louder than words!

Today my heart goes out to those
Who look up, beady-eyed, at the skyline
Ferociously licking the infernos
Which were once their homes
Ensconcing all their dreams.

Please click to read the full poem

Thank you for reading. This is a short respite as many fires are still uncontrollable while the authorities are wondering whether climate change has any role to play!

But the blue sky looks promising today.

Balroop Singh.