My home is on fire. It has been burning for a while and I do not know what to do. A fire is a breathing thing. It takes your breath away. It leaves you unmovable. The fire is going East up Provo Canyon toward Sundance, Robert Redford country. This is really happening, right now as I am writing.
I first heard of this confusing thing in the grocery store. The man was describing a twisty thing with his hands to his checker. I did not understand. On my walk home I saw it. The tail like a cat that was not a cat, wound all the way from one mountain to other mountains, pouring and pulsing as it leaned heavenly but heaven wouldn’t have it.
When night came I watched the plume light up from inside. How many embers does that take to make the fire works? And fire works it was but now at night only in two colors, red and black. That would be two colors only until the flare of a new grove exploding awoke the cloud of smoke and then like a balloon the whole cloud once obscure awakes from the embers within. Here is a show that wasn’t scheduled but there it is, playing out for all to see. Who else is watching? Or have fires just become another piece of news? These hills I have trampled upon, rode horses through, and drove in a pickup to see the scenery is again taking my breath away. The deer my young son hung upside down in our carport came from those hills. Those hills belong to me. I hurt when they hurt.
The following is a poem written years ago, even before my daughter’s million dollar home burned completely down to it’s cement foundation in Draper, Utah. The aftermath was as the poem describes. My daughter caused the fire but of course it was really an accident. No one does this kind of destruction on purpose. So what was my poem, a foretelling? No worry about my daughter, both she and her husband sell insurance. Thankfully they took their own advice.
‘The Heart of the Fire’
How long is the fire?
Burning even now
Raging in the heart, giving no end.
How long can this go on?
How long this fire?
Never ending and fast
Embracing light, then flash!
Consuming all, searing, snapping, clap!
I feel so warm and cannot breathe.
What the smell? My lungs
Take it in but it is not air
Only boulders of the loss!
How long can fires be?
Time passing, colorless, quiet now.
Memory of my loss,
But my fire burns on
Forever the memory of my loss.
The fire burns on