I promised you a lot of poems, and so I must deliver 🙂  Here’s a new one!  Several years back, there were really bad brush fires where I lived.  For no apparent reason, I thought of them and had to write this poem.


I am a sentinel at the second-floor window
watching the amber tongues lick the dry brush,
watching the SoCal sky turn to grey
as classmates become refugees,
as California’s paradise turns to hell,
and somewhere out there is my Dad.

Warriors clad in neon armor,
soldiers armed with fabric hose,
armored tanks with flashing, shrieking lights,
and somewhere out there is my Dad
joining the ranks of freedom fighters.

The peoples’ guardians try to cage
the phoenix with hydrants and helicopters.
School’s canceled for a snow day:
Dry grey snow, confetti ash snow,
choke-you-till-you-feel-sick snow.
The air tastes like a thousand fears,
the taste that out there is my Dad.

We’ve tried to tame this wild beast,
turn wasteland into Eden,
so now the canyon shakes its mane,
stamps its hoofs, and snorts in rage
and mocks our little teeny lives
by turning the sun sickly red—
and somewhere out there is my Dad.

When the dragon once more falls asleep,
the army retreats in weary victory,
the refugees pick their ways back home
and we try to forget the hanging threat.

But first I say a prayer of thanks
to the fire’s mighty Lord,
to the Lord of refugees and helpless little girls,
because though out there the battle raged,
now here, back at home is my Dad.


      1. Thank you Beth. That was an awesome time of my life. At the time I didn’t realize you guy’s were so worried about me, but God always took care of me! Yes he let me learn what real fear is several times, a couple of times I wasn’t sure I would be making it back home. But God kept me safe and at times gave me the thrill of a life time. I apologize for making you worry. Love Dad.


        1. Love you, too! I am so proud that you did what you did, saving people’s lives all the time. You’re a hero, my hero. My fear faded and I learned and grew from it; it’s a small thing in comparison to all the good you did 🙂


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