Monthly Archives: May 2010

Beautiful Destruction

my brother raps on the door:

“do you see what’s going on out there?!?”

we gaze at the inferno from the window

i throw on clothes, join them outside.

we can feel the heat,

night sky lit orange

the first building an unfinished wood skeleton

burns with ferocious intensity

small tornadoes whip up from the fire’s heart

blur the line between flame and smoke

embers shoot up into the sky,

blot out stars with their falling Milky Way

hail down on us, a fiery snowstorm

some wide as your fist

one lands in my wet hair

smolders til knocked away

scent of singed hair mixes with campfire

then the second building goes up

its almost finished

shingles, sidings, insulation

shifts the smoke from wholesome campfire scent to toxic plume

lucky the smoke is high.

*******

no one lives in the unfinished buildings.

we enjoy shock & awe without guilt

the beauty is terrible and humbling

but we are safe

i think of the age old war tactic

of burning villages & cities

imagine this heat and ember hail and smoke

but  running terrified, choking, heart-hammering

from flaming home, soldiers ready to pounce

*******

who did this?

i joke it was the deer

revenge for Urbandale destroying

their forest-home.

*******

fire wizard (kanata 4 May 2010) Photo Credit: Curtis Chaffey

we are fascinated and terrified by fire

small & controlled, fire serves & comforts

can be a candle for kindness

but

fire is wild

fire is ready

fire is hungry for opportunity

in a heartbeat,

fire can blaze from servant

to angry god.

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hailsorm of embers (kanata fire 4 May 2010). Photo Credit: Curits Chaffey

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note: title inspired by Louis Helbig’s Beautiful Destruction photographs of the Alberta Tar Sands