Home > Journaling the Apocalypse > The Great Fires

The Great Fires

December 21, 2008

We woke in the dusk, the sun
an alien disk of glowing mauve,
the sky bleeding its last blue.
Ashes fell like snowflakes.

In satellite photos, horns of smoke
from the burning California coast.
Yet it wasn’t the aerial panorama,
but a single glance that leapt

like a lion at my throat.
I looked out the window, saw
flames like bodies, crimson-gold,
soaring then dipping, dancing

their way up the long hill
a few miles from my house.
As if life were being told
in non-human speech:

a hymn to all the afternoons
a woman looks out the window
on a rose-bush and the hills,
idle dove-like clouds

— then the red dancing
with devouring gold —
As if God were being told
in triumphant tongues:

a story of how innocence dies
for the sake of a greater story.

by Oriana

Download the MP3

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  1. Lilith
    December 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    What a stunning poem! And the voice on the MP3 player is mesmerizing.

  2. Dr. Charles
    December 22, 2008 at 12:00 am

    A unique California poem with a sweet powerful voice. I’d love to hear more of Oriana reading.

  3. Jackleen
    December 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    A fabulous poem–and reading!

  4. December 27, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    The images created by your words charm and haunt as the same time…this is a poem worth remembering.


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