Lost In Smoke

(metromasti.com)
(metromasti.com)

By: Wayne Brown

Wildfires are burning across the hot dry grounds

Popping, cracking, sizzling, a symphony of sounds

Raging out of control like some cruel evil joke

Burning all it touches; sending it up in smoke



Houses burned to foundations; all possessions lost

Keepsakes, souvenirs, fine things; valued beyond the cost

Lost to the leaping flames the hot, dry winds so stoke

Lost to all but our memory, lost in the smoke



Ashes and embers coat the ground where vegetation grew

The landscape so beautiful; it was the home we knew

Then like thieves robbing in the night for their stolen toke

The flames take the precious beauty; gone up in smoke



Winds blowing dry and wild urging this beast along

Howling in the tree tops as if the devil were in song

Bringing soot and ash to the grounds that we broke

Ripping it from our possession; lost in the smoke



Brave men and women fight from both ground and air

Breaking backs and risking lives all for a stranger’s fare

Yet the hot, dry wind is relentless in the flames that it stokes

Overwhelming human courage as it all goes up in smoke



Ol’ Mother Nature can be sure be a heartless one

Sending burning flames forth that seem to climb to the sun

Burning everything in the path of her broad, windy stroke

All the beautiful little animals and flowers; lost in the smoke




Mankind will not give up; the fires will finally be controlled

But nothing can bring back the things the cruel flames stole

The land is marked with the anger; the beauty has been broke

Our living world is soot and ashes; the rest is up in smoke




Time will heal the scars and bring beauty to cover the strife

Folks will slowly get back to normal and get on with this life

Damage will be erased ironically by Mother Nature’s stroke

But tears will long be shed for little things lost in the smoke


© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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Comments 25 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

"Ol’ Mother Nature can be sure be a heartless one"

she sure can at that. My heart goes out to everyone that has to endure this.

Wonderful poem!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

It's so easy for the treasures we collect in a lifetime to go up in smoke in minutes in raging fires like these. Wonderfully written, Wayne - as always.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Heartful, soulful, and meaningful. Beautiful, Wayne. :-)


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

What a tragedy and what a awesome piece of writing. Up and awesome.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Wayne. I suppose it could even happen here in Wisconsin. there is a reason the name of our county is "wood."


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Great poem and a wonderful tribute to the men who put themselves in danger every day.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Just Ask Susan...Mother Nature is both the destructor and the rebuilder...She can be tough! Thanks for the good words. WB

@drbj...Things can be taken away quite easily and quickly. Some of it can never be replaced but we have to focus on the truly important things in life and go on. Thanks, Doc. WB

@Motown2Chitown...Thanks, those good words are much apprectiated. WB

@breakfastpop...Yes, my son just had to evacauate out of southeastern Arizona to avoid that wildfire. Luckily the fire was brought under control before hitting the town. But it got me thinking. WB

@dahoglund...Mix some really dry air with some wind and things can turn into a tinderbox rather rapidly especially if there has been little rain for a while. We see it every year now in west Texas. WB

@Dim Flaxenwick...Thank you, those words of encouragement are greatly appreciated! WB


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Areas outside of Houston are getting a taste of Mother Nature's firey wrath. I know fire is necessary in the wild for regrowth, etc -- but close to people . . . Very scary. Your weather and natural disaster poems are quite intense - honest, gripping, powerful -- just like the phenomenon of your subjects.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Truckstop Sally...Wow, if Houston catches fire, that could burn a long time! Thanks for all those great words...I love 'em! WB


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Wow a very good image and illustration. Very well done.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@HattieMattieMae...Thank you...I appreciate those good words! WB


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

This is (no surprise) a great and well written poem. The subject matter is so painful and you brought vivid awareness to the suffering land and people.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Hi Wayne,

This is so scary. Living in an area that has a lot of wildfires must be horrifying at times.

Your poem tells it well.

Good job.


Harvey Stelman profile image

Harvey Stelman 5 years ago from Illinois

Wayne, Why don't we get rain in Arizona, and sunshine along the Mississippi? It's not fair! H


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

well I'll be happy to send it your way harvey, I have plenty these last few weeks! :)


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Great videos to accompany a gripping and heated scribe my friend. It's so sad to see people lose everything they worked for and cherished, and then to see it all go up in smoke. Mother Nature is a serious task master and brings us all to our knees in so many catastrophes on our planet.

Look at all the devastation in many different countries, Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Iceland, USA and others. It's dam scary out there Wayne, maybe there is some truth in the speculations and theories about 2012 and the Mayan calendar ending...hmmmmmmm food for thoughts for sure. Peace and blessings to you.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

Very powerful imagery, and hence, very sad. I hate to see fires happen. We had a fire in our shop back in 2007. That was bad enough, but very small as fires go... lost some THINGS, but no structural damage...just smoke damage mostly..and that was bad enough that it was not cleanable..had to gut the building & re-do.

So, my heart really goes out to anyone caught in the path of a firestorm...I cry for them.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Hypenbird...Thank you, I wanted to capture some of the drama associated with the fires...once you get up close with them, they are quite intimidating. WB

@Cardisa...Yes, many folks in the southwestern areas of the USA (especially) live with the threat of these wild fires on a yearly basis. Draught conditions and dry winds turn the areas into tinderboxes where a lightning strike or a carelessly handled cigarette can do a multitude of damage. WB

@Harvey Stelman...That sounds like a good formula, Harv but I suppose Mother Nature has her reasons. WB

@saddlerider1...Maybe we'll have to use Hank Jr's advice and do it like the "country boys"....You know he says a "country boy can survive". Mother Nature may be the only force which can counter the influence of the Obama Administration! LOL! WB

@DzyMsLizzy...The wildfires are so destructed and move so fast. They leave people little or no time to react. Mankind is rather interesting in that he/she will endure such actions from Mother Nature and attempt to hang on hoping that will be the last one...it never is. WB


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Lots of people buy land and build a retirement cabin in the big timber. Things like this just wipe them out, and they are too old to ever see it recover.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@WillStarr...So true, Will. It's something people need to think more about before risking that money I suppose because Mother Nature will never change her ways. WB


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This is a beautiful heartbreaking hub. In Jacksonville we are living with constant smoke most days from all the fires in southern GA, particularly those in the swamp as they are so difficult to put out. Between the tornadoes, floods and fires there sure is a lot of tragedy happening this year. Rated up and awesome as usual.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Fires are nature's clean up experts. When a forest becomes littered with deadfalls and brush, fires clean up the mess and rejuvenate. However, man is also a clean up expert, and where old growth is largely free of such fuels due to man's efforts, fires are usually contained to grasses and low underbrush. Trees escape largely unharmed.

Wilderness designations keep man out, and undergrowth becomes uncontrolled. After that, all it takes is a spark.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Pamela99...Thank you...I wanted to capture the emotion of the fire and the stubborn nature of it. I hope I did that. These are tough times with Mother Nature. WB

@WillStarr...You are so correct, Will. Mother Nature has ways of cleansing herself and when mankind parks himself in the middle of that nature he generally loses. WB


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

A terrific poem Wayne covering all the heartache that accompanies these normally annual events. I say normally, because last summer Australia's Victorian state citizens were spared another fire storm. The previous year brought us black saturday with the highest ever recorded temp' of 48.6 degrees centigrade and one hunred and thirty kilometer winds. The whole town of Marysville was erased from the map. Over a hundred people lost their lives, and many lost their homes and livelihoods. We live eight kilometers from the centre of Melbourne, but there was a fire in woodlands two kilometers from us that the fire authority only just managed to contain. Deliberately lit too along with some of the other fires that day. We also have a weekender in a non-fightable bush setting near the top of a hill. There are about twenty houses there, with one road in or out. Hot windy days means staying in the city. We have cleared the block to the best of our ability and can just hope for the best. We really feel for you guys when fire strikes, as i'm sure you do for us. Cheers buddy. Top draw poem.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@attemptedhumor...The U.S. suffers most in the southwestern region where the climate is dry and the winds blow hard...a great combination. In the early summer, we had a series of wildfires west of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area that burned within about 50 miles of the metroplex before it was contained. Although we have the winds and the dry conditions, we have been lucky here. To the west many people have not. You description of the conditions there in Australia are quite vivid...you should write a hub about it all. That would be quite good. Thanks for the good words on the poem...amazing how things can be so similar which are so many thousands of miles apart. WB

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