The West is Burning

My poem, The West is Burning, was just published on New Verse News. It is not an optimistic poem. Here it is:

On the rise above
Route 80, by a trickle
that was once
a river

I watch a line
of traffic
a thousand miles long
going nowhere.

The road has
buckled and a semi
sits on its side
steam still boiling.

One by one
the cars and trucks
run out of gas—
dream irony

I suppose,
and people stand
beside their behemoths—
afraid at last.

The pine
and hemlock forest
that lined the road
has turned

a sickly brown
and trees light up
like candlesticks
one by one.

Children fight
the fire
with blankets
and spit.

And the dust
and smoke
and ash
make breathing

an occupation.
The west is burning
and few if any
will make it out.

I wake with a gasp—
heart escaping.
Smoke colors the moon
the west is burning.

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5 Responses to The West is Burning

  1. maryrohrerdann says:

    Wow. That’s all I can say.

    Mary Rohrer-Dann

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver — The Summer Day ________________________________


  2. Thomazine Shanahan says:



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