Fire poems



Selected poems




It's as though it's suddenly turned winter,

the way the earth is covered over and the grey stretch of ash

is drawn up to its chin like a blanket.


And though it's day, the bird-less quiet is a kind of night,

and everything we ever thought we knew has been turned upside down,

the first now last, and the last first.

— Bill Rush




This blackness

of landscape


as if a fire had

passed through


with no echo of water

in the dumb silence


there is though the fear

a sun, a ball of glow


just above a horizon

waiting for a breath


waiting for a change of wind

waiting for a cool voice


just to say something

— Rory Harris




Code red

when the sun like a cyclops rages fiery red

divots the sky in a coven of camouflage

It has no voice to plead 'enough'

it warns us to listen ...


in the myth Odysseus gathers forces

to ram the glaring monster

but be warned

this sun is not the enemy

it is air thick with ash that chokes 'help'

amidst ember attacks and dust storms


when fish like shimmering naiads surface slimy green

float dead in display of disaster

they have no voice to gulp 'stop'

they rely on us to think ...


in the myth Naiads shine silver

in springs and streams and brooks

be warned

dead fish are not the enemy

it is our river's way of weeping 'save me'

over-used and desecrated


when the earth our mother is parched

her body dried and cracked

she has no voice to lament 'code red '

it depends on us to act ...


in the myth our mother-earth

cries for care for respect

but be warned

cracked earth is not the enemy

it is a strangled cry 'no more to give'

exhausted and depleted


when the sea like clotted blood chokes with plastics

angry Thor thunders floods the land

it has no voice to say 'greed does not pay'

it counts on us for action ...


yet still in our great city people walk about

heads down in an eerie silence

eyes weep from the smoke

behind fake masks that filter reality


they walk unbeknown like frogs

and like frogs in the myth

they are being slowly boiled alive.

— Colleen Keating


Topic tags: poetry, Bill Rush, Rory Harris, Collen Keating



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Existing comments

A poem of mine. Believing. It is very hard to believe when you cannot breath. Or think: I think therefore I am. Though, not thinking, nor breathing is as good as believing.
AO | 17 January 2020

In this powerful poem, the poet uses recent news information to expose our ignorance, The language is clear, the lyrical images ironic. We still claim dominion over nature despite the growing devastation. The voices of nature cry out. Throughout the ages they have left warnings, but do we listen, heed the warnings?
Brenda Saunders | 19 January 2020


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