Aspen Misc.: A poem for the Lake Christine Fire, and super softball players in Basalt |

Aspen Misc.: A poem for the Lake Christine Fire, and super softball players in Basalt

Heather G. H. Dresser
Special to The Aspen Times
Polly Ross and Ian Long caught up with the news at home while boating around the "30,000 Islands" near Parry Sound in Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada. They were staying at the family cottage the Long brothers own on Manitouwabing Lake, about 20K from Parry Sound.

Emerging, tinged with caustic and merciless anger, encouraged by the wind, rampaging and undiminished, flames dwarf the stars while the night is emblazoned by

the heart of the fire.

A slice of sky, lit up like fireworks on a July 4th night.

Savage beauty from a distance, startling and ravenous up close, causing visceral fright and awestruck worry, this is

the heart of the fire.

Roiling on, with no regard for what lies in its path, remorseless with power, relentless with rage, the inferno fostering and fomenting untold mayhem, intensifies at

the heart of the fire.

While popping and groaning, creaking and whistling, with a voice of its own, distinctive, destructive,

The conflagration moves with remarkable speed, and is

the heart of the fire.

Eons old lava rock, dusted by whipping winds, cascading with ash and prayers and hope

That all would not be consumed and given up to

the heart of the fire.

Whirlibirds, flaming timber poles, fallen wires and ditches dug, puzzling the forest creatures rousted from their sleep

That night, fleeing with honed inherent instinct, from

the heart of the fire.

Searing images of plumes, blazing tongues and mercurial colors; heat as intense as in a kiln, alive as a dragon

Awakened in anger, spitting and spewing from its

heart of fire.

Parched swales appear, dusted with rust and puce, and the colors of the night. Forever changed,

A landscape marred and charred and darkened by

the heart of the fire.

Brittle as raw nerves, ancient juniper and pinions implore the sky for a salvaging and healing rain.

Ash settled, dust rising, heat shimmering, loss evident at

the heart of the fire.

Between whole and gone, the scourged hillsides and

Verdant forest features are lost to time; and woodland homes, baptized in flame, do not remain unscathed by

the heart of the fire.

And the osprey watches and wonders what happened. Through the haze, the veil of smoke lingering, pungent and heavy, will be an ongoing reminder of

the heart of the fire.

Those who observe and wait are stunned and stilled and subdued By this growing force; frozen with fear despite the heat,

Even as those who are saviors follow their calling, headlong into

the heart of the fire.

Imperiling and testing responders, leaving only seconds for action, rushing walls of flame and sparks spar with homes and lawns and walls, creating a place of despair, of searing desolation, at

the heart of the fire.

At last the dawn comes, stuttering and muted, yet hopeful, heralding a hazy blue sky and daylight undeterred, though scorched and scarred, scented and tinged by

the heart of the fire.

Then from the gloom and the grime and the burning embers, apparitions emerge, sooty and smoky as a campfire in winter, having seen the apocalypse and confronted the demons at

the heart of the fire.

The breeze cools for a moment; hope rushes in, fades, then reconstitutes, and even as smoke billows and cars flee, relief is profuse that

These warriors held the lines, when all seemed lost, with their unweilding.

This poem was submitted by Heather G. H. Dresser of Carbondale.


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