Uvas canyon fire

Smoke settles low in wrinkled valleys
reluctant to depart the sweet sage cradle
       where first blossom newly arose.
One prayer of oak and brush says,
       take me into blue sky.
Today the creeks folded, and all dreaming
said simply, I have no name in this dawn.
Said, I have found this way and go.
From where the men stood mid-road,
their cars in hesitant rest on the narrow
shoulders of the country road, back
from there, across a small angled bridge,
there, I too became still – and listened.
It was a perfect silence.
It could easily be mistaken for someplace else,
       yet beyond one ridge, maybe another,
       something wonderous was thumping,
       thumping, wanting to come close.
I always liked this poem from the day it was writ.   Completely real.   I was there on those smalltown back country roads, roads that only a local would know.
Common enough, wanting to see a fire, but no, this was our fire in our home countryside.   We could rightly only get just so close because the fire teams wanted clear roads to do their work.
   ◉   Many many years later I met a wood-turner who had fashioned this actual bowl from the partially charred remains of a tree in that very fire.   Now the path has become circular.

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