Sunday, December 14, 2008


As far as
The eye of the crow can see
The trees, the trees have been twisted,
Toasted, burnt to a crisp;

Birds no longer gather here
To eat red berries
For breakfast, or sing
A song out of Mother Goose,

Say of innocence, of sixpence,
A pocketful of rye,
Of four-and-twenty million
Blackbirds baked in a pie.


  1. Oooh I love this one. The fact that we know exactly what you are talking about and yet you don't address the topic directly. My favorite lines are

    "Of four-and-twenty million
    Blackbirds baked in a pie."

    I almost wish that line was repeated throughout the poem - then it almost become a ghostly echo.

    Nice work though

  2. Thanks for this, Scott. Incidentally, this poem was written about six months after the deadly brush fires that devastated many parts of Greece in the summer of 2007.

  3. Back in the early Sixties, there was a fire in the Sierras east and slightly north of where we lived, up above the giant redwoods in the General Grant park, in an area called Cherry Gap. We watched it from home, many miles away, hovering low in the night sky. The result was devastating, the blackened burned out trees, the scalded mounds of granite.

  4. This emptiness comes through at full force in your poem. Everything is charred. I can see it, smell it, know it. How can the landscape become hotter than summer? Fires--yes, I can see this. Is anything green again in the burned-out area?

  5. Everything charred remains charred but there is still enough life in the soil to slowly regenerate more life and in "no time at all," the burnt-out areas will be fresh game for yet another generation of stupid, careless, rampaging homo sapiens.


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