Blackened rubble lay where my home
had been. Fire had destroyed everything.
There were no words of comfort me.
Orders to evacuate had come none to
soon; the flames glowed in the night sky.
Black smoke hung heavy; it stuck in my
throat. Wincing as the heavy shroud stung
The forest was ablaze; swirling orange
flames filled the black sky. Popping and
snapping of burning scrub echoed in my
I joined the snaggle toothed caravan heading
across the flats. We took shelter in a school
cafeteria. The served up lunch but I couldn’t
Three days later I went back. There are no
words to describe the agony ricocheting in my
gut. All that I owned and treasured are gone
in a wisp of smoke. I wiped the tears from
my eyes. Too damned hurt to rebuild.
Suddenly, the lonesome valley burst
into light as lightning stair stepped
from the sky. A stunted juniper tree
exploded into flame.
Sparks were a thousand fireflies
doing a gypsy dance. Orange
tongue stabbed the evening skies.
Live sparks drifted--settling into
tinder dry grass erupting
into flame. The crackling was
a million crickets singing a
Fiery grasses torched other
junipers. The darkening sky was
ablaze with orange mixed with
dull gray smoke. A sleeping owl
awoke and took to flight, chased
by wicked flames.
There was a bizarre hissing as
the rain began to fall. The fire was
no match for that torrent; it flickered
and went out, but in its wake stark
goblins, pointed arms piercing the
sky and leaving an ocean of black.
Miles of juniper trees are gone.
Fire rages without smoke;
flames lap that green water.
Sparks ascend rattling windows;
wiseman voices turn stone.
Drinking wisdom from the cliffs above,
it leaches into iconoclastic soil.
The eye of the oracle is blind; a
defiant rose delights hedonistic eyes.
The hand of a lover trembles as
tulips wither and die.
Time stand still; sands in the
hourglass refuse to fall.
The ancient guru whispers perfidy;
the dark abyss is made of glass.
Mike Berger is an MFA, PhD. He writes poetry and short stories full time
He has been writing poetry for less than four years. His work appear
in seventy-one journals. He has published two books of short stories
and eight poetry chapbooks .He is a member of The Academy of American