Ridge Fire/Morning Alight

The fire seams the horizon
like a long scar,
its sparks ignite the haze
the colour of a gas flame flaring,
it re-ignites the morning’s
smouldering cauldron,
incinerating the dull sun and the sky
into a thick black ash.

The fire is a blacksmith
beating and forging
its weaponry in darkness,
out of its rich smelter
the air melts and runs molten,
its beaten blades scythe through
the trees crackling with current,
setting off an incandescence of leaves,
an awful shrieking of fleeing birds.

Sounds echo like rifle shots
above an endless roaring train
and the reek of cindered heath,
as out of the combustible haze
and down the ridge
this incendiary marches,
setting off spot-fires,
torching farm lands,
and leaving in its wake
its ghostly art of charcoal trees,
charred and smouldering carcasses,
and homesteads furnaced to ash
on the valley’s floor.