Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Wildfire's Shadow

Dusk gathers on the ranchlands
Underneath a giant swath of smoke
Fumes from the Rim fire
Now ravaging more than 200,000 acres
Across the Tuolumne lands
Laden with tindry fuels
Of middle elevations

Forty miles to the south
Shrouded in the wildfire's shadow
Hares take to their holes
Among the boulders and crackling grasses
To hold over until the greenups and gatherings

Dried withered still beating
Hearts of manzanita
Mourn for their lost loves
To shower them with blessings of rejuvenation
Wrapped in churning blood red bark

Crisp dry leaves
Commune with grass seeds and converse
On their plans for future sproutings
And upbringings when winter's rains come

For here is yellowing in the heats
And greenings in the cold
Once summer's choking deathgrip
Releases it's hold on the land
As the waves of rain
Come in off the Pacific
To wash away the dust
And solidify the roots in gravelly grasps

For granite grinds
Into well drained soils in the hills
Leaving the clays dispersed elsewhere
On ancient seabeds of shark bones
And Megalodon teeth

Building a base of fertile ground
Where the North American Camel once roamed
In search of the widespread oasis
On the riparian fringes
Seeking refuge from the ancient prairie fires
That raged on unimpeded
As the land rose above the seas

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