Fire and Earth
by Deenaz Coachbuilder

Stripped of beauty
on denuded hillsides
they stand
bare arms reaching towards
unheeding smudged skies.

Just yesterday blue spruce
fluttered supple eyelashes at wooing birds
rustling Douglas fir sang a resonant summer chorus
while variegated wild fruit hid in
clumps of foliage that dotted
Shasta-Trinity’s sacred forest landscape.

Mercurial fire
healer and destroyer
knows no favorites.
It slays suddenly      without mercy
smiting old and young
turning rainbow hues into charcoal.

Earth patiently weaves new garments
a bride designing her trousseau
silk and taffeta for the night
light cottons for the spring days ahead
while the sun bursts juvenile seed,
gleaming jewels for her hair.

The Hirz and Delta wildfires burned vast areas of California’s
Shasta-Trinity National Forest in the summer of 2018.

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