FIRE!

FIRE!

 
Just a hot spot, that is all,
A spot of hot, beneath an ash,
A tiny dot that is red hot,
Hardly worth a second glance.
 
To lift the ash from off that hot spot
Comes a gentle, stirring breeze,
A puff, a gust, is all it takes,
And that hot red dot is teased.
 
Teased enough to become a spark,
Oh so tiny - but alive,
Grabbing, grasping, gulping air,
Oh yes, that spark will thrive.
 
The breeze resolves into a zephyr,
Then, 'wind' becomes its name,
The tiny spark is so encouraged,
It changes, too, into a flame.
 
Cavorting, dancing now with rhythm
And with darting, thrusting moves,
From adagio to flamenco,
A full fire now is fused.
 
Trembling creatures smell the smoke,
Run, run - little forest friends!
No no - not that way - this way!
And you must run faster than the winds.
 
Frenzy - mass hysteria,
Overpowering fright,
Former natural enemies
Become best friends in flight.
 
Higher, higher grows the fire,
Hear the roaring sound,
Is that the devil laughing?
Has this become his ground?
 
Wider, wider spread the flames,
First, by acre - then, by mile,
Black by day - red by night,
Satan dances - Satan smiles.
 
Across the ridge, then to the flatlands,
Homes now put in danger,
Get your things!  Hurry!  Pack!
There is panic, fear, and anger.
 
Get the horses!  Get the dogs!
Forget milady's keepsakes,
Life and limb in peril now,
Anything that breathes - just take!
 
The sky is black; all blue is gone,
And it's just the noon time hour,
Dear God, please stop that wind,
And send us heaven's showers.
 
Firefighters are alerted,
From all around they come,
With shovels, ropes, and cables
To fight this son-of-a-gun.
 
Up the hillsides come the crews,
Planes with water overhead,
'Hang on guys, we'll get this sucker,
We don't want nobody dead!'
 
The fighters pull twelve hour shifts,
Some pull even longer,
It seems with every flame that's quenched,
Another just grows stronger.
 
Bodies taxed beyond endurance,
Faces blackened - covered with grime
Onward, upward fight those Angels,
Holding back the fire line.
 
How many hours, days, or weeks,
Before the winds subside?
How much havoc will be wrought?
How many men can stay alive?
 
The battle wages on and on,
They gain and lose and lose and gain,
Until, as if by miracle,
It seems the fire is contained.
 
One thanks God upon one's knees,
That those wild winds are stilled,
But how does one thank Live Angels
So dedication-filled?
 
How does one thank those heroes,
Not even known by name,
Who gave themselves so selflessly
To save all from the flames.
 
Their real reward, I do suspect,
Will not come on this earth,
But one day they'll have crowns of gold,
God aware of each man's worth.
 
The dawn breaks; the sky is blue,
Man and creature come back home,
A gentle breeze now spreads new seeds,
And a white dove chaperones.
 
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
 
Magic



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