Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

THE BURNING SEASON

My house is not mine anymore
It is a dwelling place for flames
My dreams are not mine anymore
They turn to ashes
and smoke
We took all we could take
with us;  a photo album
Father’s Gibson guitar –a few
books –a suitcase full
of clothes –we drove our
station wagon out of town

I ask you; “Does the Devil
have a heart? Does he piss out
fire and brimstone?”
On one side of the highway
green grass –on the other
side -a dark wall of desolation
rising up from the
violated land

All we have left is family
We bind together the chains
Of the people
How we gather our sorrows
breathing in the dust
chased by death that falls
from the sky
The life-giving lightning
deals in destruction
and pain -the burning season
is upon us all

I think of the apocalypse:
how the fiery breath from
God’s lips is moving through
the dry wooden trees
We feel betrayed by the years
we used to love
We used to drink and dance
We used to hear
the laughter of children
Now a wild wind carries
the seed of the holocaust
and throws it down
on our backs
What are we to do but
drive into the setting sun?

Forty thousand
without homes –they follow
the highway down the
spine of the land
to the shining towns of
the South
They go to the North –they are taken
into people’s homes
and given sanctuary

In the evening the camps
are full of firefighters
their skin black and shiny
drinking coffee
In the morning
They return to their work
moving the machinery
digging ditches  -taking axes
and shovels in hand
cutting through the bushes
Above the sky is full of
planes and helicopters
bringing water
Faces covered with scarves
The air is ripe and heavy
with corruption

Once the lakes and forests
were for hunting and fishing
The waters were clear and cold
The fields were full of
strawberries –dandelions grew
on the side of hills
The woods hid secrets
where grouse and small mice
lived –where the owl took
his meal
Now the trees that remain
look like skeleton bones
The trees that remain
sing a funereal song
:A black mass in a church
no man has inhabited

Oh, where will we go?
Where is the rain to wash
Away these memories?
When we return
what will we find?
When the burning season
is over we will feel that
same dream
We will forget and forgive
until after the winter snows
and the spring floods
and it begins again

 

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