A Christmas Prairie Burn

December 18, 2012

One sun ornament hanging on the Tree of Life;

Shivery bluebirds’ beaks sifting for baked seeds from curled, singed grass,

Fine black ash smelling like bitter chicory,

Wild turkeys pecking their way through the black snow;

Sunlight absorbed by ghostsmoke and cremation and black mass:

A concatenation of feasts of carbon, of color:

For fire leads to more grass leads to finer flowers leads to sweeter nectar

Leads to more bees, more vibrating strings of prairie roots on Nature’s harp;

So fire is a penultimate Christmas gift, a pagan gift, God’s and the gods’ gifts,

A fox and coyote and screech owl and field mouse gift,

A gift of future for the lonely, for the lost, for the loved:

An infinite, chatoyant solstice light . . .

Bluebirds the bells, woodpeckers the carolers,

Red-tail hawks the priests of meditation, kestrels the hovering angels:

“Hallelujah,” the wing and the prayer and the hope and the holy, the wholly

Chanted by the kin of dinosaurs:

(One moon ornament hanging on the Tree of Life.)



About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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