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.)



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