The fire, this time

The fire, next time,

is already here

singeing the margins

rushing to the core

feasting on forest

swallowing lakes


Made a pact with brother wind

And now rips through ravines

Ravenous in its journey


Embers glow

Like ancient tiger eyes

Staring at our consumption

As she snarls her ghost saber tooth



The fire, this time

Is in no forgiving mood

Does not engage in games

Of mirrors and smoke



It tattoos its mark

Of the Beast

On the Innocent

And the Wicked

Their bones turning

To the same

Fine, purified dust


No ornery resistance

May block its path:

It won’t be appeased

By youthful sacrifice

Or mass persistence


It will rip our heart from

Inside our ribs

Scattering us tearfully

To no quarters


So that cleared

Of our excesses

And attachments

We are forced to  meet the dry bone

Of our true essence


Low on the ladder of existence

Torched in a second

millennial long charades

Of our mastery over

The universe and all its life forces.


Pina Piccolo, 14 August 2021


Featured image: Blake’s illustration of his poem.