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God's Fires, a Poem and More

Updated on November 9, 2019
Jodah profile image

John is a long-time poet and fiction writer. He was also an active firefighter and secretary of a rural brigade for eight years.

Source

Fires Becoming a Yearly Occurence

November/December 2018

It seems I have just finished reading about the worst wildfire season on record in California and other western US states, and now, as I type this, at least 138 bushfires are burning along the entire east coast of Queensland and across into the Northern Territory. With record temperatures throughout November and now into December, with no rainfall expected soon, the situation is just likely to worsen.

Wildfire is becoming an almost yearly occurrence, in conjunction, with tornados, cyclones and resulting floods. Add to that record snowfalls in Winter months in the USA and Britain.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Map of current Queensland Fires.  Queensland, beautiful one day, on fire the next.
Map of current Queensland Fires.  Queensland, beautiful one day, on fire the next.
Map of current Queensland Fires. Queensland, beautiful one day, on fire the next. | Source
Source

Common Instructions in Case of Fire

Follow your bushfire survival plan now. If you do not have a plan, your safest option is to leave immediately if it is clear to do so. If you cannot leave, identify where you will seek shelter from the bushfire. If you are not in the area, do not return, as conditions are too dangerous.

Conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing. The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path. Fire crews may not be able to protect your property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door: act now.
Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost and road conditions may become very dangerous over the next several hours.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality. (source: Qld Fire and Emergency Service)

Firefighters watching a fire
Firefighters watching a fire | Source

God's Fires

Wildfires burning,

Winds keep turning,

Stomachs churning,

Rainfall yearning.


Am I wrong, or does it seem

The climate's getting more extreme?

Wildfire, cyclone, drought, or flood,

All things we class as "Acts of God."

Flood
Flood | Source

Should we flee

Or should we stay?

Protect our homes

Or get away?


We waste our time in hot debate,

Is this man's fault or just fate?

The natural cycles of the Earth,

Or will reduced emissions prove its worth?


Let our goals

Be all the same.

Protect all life,

Don't pass the blame.


Some say that scientists have it wrong,

That many sing a different song.

They say we can't afford to change

And Mother Nature will just manage.

Source

So, let me cut

Right to the chase.

Save on energy,

Stop the waste!


How can it hurt to do what's right?

Though change can't happen overnight.

For if we raise our creator's ire

We'll be the catalyst of God's Fires.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
burning angelRestrained and burning angel
burning angel
burning angel | Source
Restrained and burning angel
Restrained and burning angel | Source

Off the Shelf

Off the Shelf, this time is the 1997 Science Fiction/fantasy novel God's Fires by Texas author Patricia Anthony.

the story of this book is quite complex and a little difficult to describe. It is set in Portugal at the time of the Spanish Inquisition

"in Portugal, where the Inquisition protects the true word of God, Father Manoel Pessoa has begun to hear strange confessions from the villagers of Quintas. Glowing lights in the sky. Angels who lie with village women. A virgin birth. Father Pessoa would like to keep all of this quiet, for he loves his simple people, and he knows the path events could take."

This isn't Cowboys vs Aliens, it's more The Church vs Aliens. An interesting read for sure.

God’s Fires by Patricia Anthony
God’s Fires by Patricia Anthony | Source

© 2018 John Hansen

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Always good to see you Lawrence. I am happy you enjoyed the poem, and yes the book is well worth the read.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      Loved the poem, and the book sounds interesting.

      Lawrence

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Marie. If you are still interested in joining TheCreativeExiles please apply again as we do need more contributors. There are a lot of members who are just not contributing. Good luck with finishing the quilt and picture book. I read the forum and advice about Carter Press and think you were wise not going with them.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      Jodah, I was just looking at Creative Exiles this morning. I still haven't committed because I have a quilt and a children's picture book to finish (yes, the one previously queried by Carter Press, which I have decided not to use). I may decide to simply review writing there, if that's possible. Blessings!

    • Pnknucklez profile image

      Paul Neglia 

      2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY USA

      Interesting. I will look for them here. I would love to get more comments, to hear people's perspective on my writing. It is disappointing to say the least when you.put time and effort into these things and get minimal response. I really did enjoy TCE. I may still post there as well.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Unfortunately comments are so few at the Creative Exiles. We all like to know people are reading what we write....but getting one or two comments is disappointing. Here, I can sometimes get 40 or more. Phyllis and Ralph also write here as well. I hope the Creative Exiles picks up though. I know someone else from here has recently applied to join.

    • Pnknucklez profile image

      Paul Neglia 

      2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY USA

      John i feel like Creative Exiles might be fading away. Kind of sad. Figured I would expand my horizons and saw that yourself and rasma were familiar faces here, so i figured why not. Posted my first one last night.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Paul, a bit of a surprise to see a comment by you here. I thought I was at the Creative Exiles for a moment. Thank you though.

    • Pnknucklez profile image

      Paul Neglia 

      2 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY USA

      Crazy how bad these fires were. Really does make you wonder about the whole climate change deal. Great rhyming as always my friend.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank, Flourish. Climate and the seasons are in chaos and natural disasters are increasing. I wrote a couple of hub about climate change but copped a lot of hate comments so occasionally I just mention it in poetry so it's more subtle.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      It truly seems like the world is on fire right now. At other times it's underwater. Your poem's message really resonated with me for its environmental message. I live in an area that is less impacted by natural disasters but I am still very concerned about all that goes on in the world, especially because we do shoulder responsibility.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Elijah, it certainly makes you question the cause.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      2 years ago from Washington DC

      Brother John, I was wondering if those fires appeared to be nature caused or deliberately set.

      When we look at the photos and videos of those major California fires here in the USA, if our sight and minds are working together, we will see the total destruction of 2 McDonalds (MD) where the autos in the streets had their glasses eliminated, tires burned and paint burned but the MD signs' plastic coverings were not even melted (?) and in one a tree right close to the destroyed MD building didn't even look singed. (?) Behind the last destroyed MD the last fire destroyed is the foundation of a totally eliminated building with some evergreen trees standing close enough almost to touch it that doesn't even appear be singed(?). Those examples suggest something other than a natural or accidentally set fire was responsible for the burnings and destruction. Need I say more?

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Elijah, thank you for referring to those Bible passages which do give excellent explanations to my question. I also agree that chemtrails are having a substantial affect. A number of the current fires in my country have been found to have been deliberately lit also.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      You are such a valuable friend and supporter of my work MsDora. Thank you again for the kind comment. We just need the world to all take the warnings seriously. God has given enough hints that things aren’t well with the planet.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Solemn warning in your poem after such valuable advice. Great form! Relatable content! Excellent work.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your warm sentiments, Shauna. Yes, fortunately the rains came and soothed the savage beast. Politicians only think about the mighty dollar and not about are long term future.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      John, when will the politicians realize global warming is real???? Denial is doing nothing but scorching the Earth and all its inhabitants. Jeez!

      Are you in the line of the fires, John? Please be safe, my poetic friend.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      2 years ago from Washington DC

      John, to your questions...

      Is this man's fault or just fate?

      Or will reduced emissions prove its worth?

      ...I have the following answers.

      Written is "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)." Following those words to their deepest meaning suggests "everything done is being done by what we call God, either through us human or through what we call angels." So, when we apply Ecclesiastes 1:9 where we find "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun" saying due to God's intent these things arrives during this point in the earth's cycle of time, therefore, whatever choice any of us make it is going to achieve what IS destined for earth at this time. So, they are "God's Fires".

      In light of that, my suggestion is that we should do whatever it is we are doing as whatever is destiny will happen no matter what we do. As for me, I believe the earth's temperature's rising is due to the "chemtrails" the U.S. Government is spraying all over the earth produces clouds which prevent the heat from evaporating into the atmosphere; destined though it is, if I had my way I would stop that and some of the fires I believe are deliberately set by human.

      Peace.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Alyssa. Yes, when we have local disasters it is easy to forget there are also similar things happening across the world. To me it also seems obvious Global Warming and climate change are real but there are still those who are convinced otherwise. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a very wise man...very good quote. We are safe, thanks.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      2 years ago from Ohio

      Wow! With everything going on in California, I didn't realize Australia was also dealing with fires. With the increased intensity of all the natural disasters as of late, it's hard to believe anyone still denies climate change and Global Warming. I love the Neil DeGrasse Tyson quote, "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." I loved your poem. Amazing and heartfelt. Stay safe.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Li-Jen. Good to see you. Thank you for supporting my little climate change rant. It has been raining today, so I hope it is falling everywhere needed.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      2 years ago

      Hey Jodah. Your poem is a wonderful way to respond to the wildfire season. If not us, then who will take action. You did the right thing by bringing up the subject of climate change and how we are affecting it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Rinita, yes it always comes back to climate change. I used to write about it but the only hub I ever had hateful comments on was about climate change. That said so-called natural disasters are just increasing in frequency and intensity and the seasons are all out of whack. Something is occurring. Fortunately, we had storms and rainfall today which has helped ease the fire situation...very timely. I worked for a volunteer rural fire brigade so dealt with mainly forest and brush fires. Occasionally a farmhouse was threatened, but if it was obvious lives would be at risk the urban professional brigades were called.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      Ah, we come back to the climate change issues. Over and over again, we try to spread the word, but who listens? Great poem as always. Sorry about the wildfires in Australia, hope you and yours are all safe.

      P.S. It was interesting to know you have worked as a firefighter. You must have seen quite some life. Appreciate you sharing.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I totally agree, Eric. The government likes to make a show about protecting trees and natural habitat in certain places and not others. One property owner here was actually fined for making his firebreaks too wide and clearing too much..can you believe that? When we were living on the land we were told to burn off at least every seven years, which was the natural cycle.....but many never do, that causes a build-up of fuel and when a wildfire does it it is almost unstoppable.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey. Mike. Good to see you. It is certainly no competition, and if so one I would definitely not want to win. yes, the wind constantly changing direction is what makes it a constant guessing game. I can usually manage to sneak the book title in before the end of the poem :)

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you very much for reading this Charity, and for your kind words. Yes, it is a terrible experience for those going through it.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your thoughts and kind words Dana. The trouble partly is where people tend to build in the middle of nature surrounded by trees. I have lived in such an area myself, but there was always the constant threat of fire. The firefighters are incredible and are true heroes.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Rasma, fire is a powerful thing and can't be played with. I think mankind has a lot to answer for in regard of our care for the planet..and yes I think this very well may be, Natures wrath.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Liz. I agree it seems as though these natural disasters like fires are increasing every year in more and more places.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is a damn shame that a gov. restricts all kinds of building yet enforce nothing regarding fire danger. There is no call for OK to a housing development in a clear sooner than later fire path or earthquake. Us folk in California don't ask "if" we ask "when".

      Money creates a hell for folks.

      These fires here are natural. Our environment needs them. Look at a valley, add brush and wonder why your house burnt.

      Man plans and God laughs.

      God help those who cannot pay heed.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi John - I see you snuck that book title in there at the end. The fires in California were horrendous. No need to make it a competition. Wondering which way the wind blows is a game many played here in California, as fires sprung up everywhere.

      Clever poem.

    • charity mtisi profile image

      charity mtisi 

      2 years ago from Johannesburg

      Its a terrible experience for all those caught up in these fires. Thank you so much for an informative poem.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      I won't even begin to say I understand what these people are going through. I do understand what it is like to spend your life building something and have it gone with the snap of your fingers and out of your control. Thank God, for firefighters who work tirelessly trying to put out the fires that are sometimes acts of nature and sometimes acts of man. If they got out of this tragedy with their family and animals all in one peace then they are blessed because the true things of value they still have and they can always rebuild.

      John, that picture is to die for. I loved it and your poem was great but they always are. Blessing...

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Fires running wild have always been a tragedy in the making and I would say really nature's rath. Fantastic poetry and a great reminder that wildfires are not fires you play with.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 years ago from UK

      This is a great poem based on a topical theme. It seems to me that we are hearing more about wildfires these days in Australia, USA, Greece and also in the UK this past summer.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Kim, I appreciate that. We are safe at the moment, and hope to stay that way.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 

      2 years ago from North Carolina

      John,

      First of all, please stay safe. I had read somewhere that your part of the world was dealing with wildfires. Your poem is powerful and your reference to the novel is intriguing. Praying for you and yours and all those contending with “the catalyst of God’s Fires.”

      Blessings Always,

      Kim

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, it is difficult to believe there are so many burning (some started by arsonists.) I appreciate the well-wishes to stay safe, Dianna. Thanks.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      2 years ago

      The number of fires in our country is astounding. Please keep safe.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha Paula, "the whole enhilada" I like that. Thank you for reading and for your generous comment. Yes, fires are scary but we will have a great holiday season none the less...even though it is too hot to venture outdoors for long. Wishing you a great one as well.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Suzie 

      2 years ago from Carson City

      Jodah.....I appreciate the educational information. Fires are frightening and disastrous. Another stunning work of poetry by our resident poetic genius....accompanied by the music of Billy Joel, most assuredly, a musical genius! Also, thank you for the referral of God's Fire by Patricia Anthony. You give us whole enchilada, Jodah! Be sure and have a wonderful Holiday Season. Paula

    • profile image

      PoetikalyAnointed 

      2 years ago

      You are welcome, John!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      PoetikalyAnointed. Thank you for reading and for your genuine concerns. God is giving us so many signs and warnings that we can’t just keep ignoring them surely...at least I hope not.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, my book collection is so diverse, Linda. I could never read all my books in my lifetime. The fires are also far enough away from us at the moment that we are only affected by the smoke..touch wood. Thanks for reading.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      It is incredible times we are living in, Missy. The whole climate is changing incredibly and becoming more extreme. Yes, so many earthquakes as well, and as your tornado season approaches so does our cyclone season. You take care also, My Friend.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading and for your generous comment manatita. May all be safe across the globe.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your concern and well wishes, ps. I am sure the angels will protect those in harms way.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Clive, it is often the ecology that is forgotten here. Many trees rejuvenate after fire, but not so the wildlife. Thank you for reading.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading and for you concern, Linda. These are worrying times.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Oh brother Sean, my sympathy to all those who lost their lives in the Greek fires, and for the families. Something has to change, attitudes for a start. Let us pray for healing rain.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for readin Mary. It is good that you are always prepared. I too hope that all these fires can be contained and there is no loss of life.oh to ind that out you will have to read the book...lol.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      You are very fortunate to live in such a place, Bill. At least now we are living in a town not in a rural area surrounded by trees where we had to be on constant alert.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 

      2 years ago from Florida

      It has been a very strange season for a lot of us here on Earth. The California fires were so devastating.

      Right now, we are heeding tornado warnings in December after the bad hurricane in the panhandle. Australia and California are battling the fire and in Alaska an unexpected Earthquake. I mean, it doesn't take an environmental scientist to know that we here living on this earth are in trouble.

      Take care of yourself, Jodah.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      John, I do believe that I could lose myself in your library and never exit. What a wonderful collection you have. Here is yet another great read for me to put on my to-do list. I love your introduction to this one as well.

      The wildfires, though a thousand miles away impact us here as well as the smoke drifts. Praying that you and your loved ones stay out of harm's way.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      An appropriate book. Some very good poetry from you here and you have included the message in a gentle yet meaningful way. Nice rhyme as usual. Yes, Fires are among the big problems of today and you guys do seem to have some similar situations as California.

    • profile image

      PoetikalyAnointed 

      2 years ago

      My prayers are with you guys out and I agree with your conclusion. We must focus on protecting all life instead of placing blame.

      I do believe this is a wake up call for us to evaluate our lives and be grateful for what you have and right your wrongs.

      Please be careful out there!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from North Central Florida

      Scary fires engulfing everything in their wake....such a thought-provoking piece, Jodah. Angels on the way....hoping all in harm's way is safe. ps

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      Very interesting and sad. Poor trees. poor animals.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The increased number of wildfires in some areas is very worrying. The fires have occurred in North America and now I hear that they're happening in Australia, too. Thanks for sharing the information and the poem, John.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 years ago from Greece, Almyros

      Amen, my brother! You said it all, in the right way! I was praying for all our sisters and brothers in California, and now I am praying for you. Here in Greece, we still mourn for the 92 fellow human beings who lost their lives on the killing fires this summer. Mother Earth will find the way, that's for sure. The thing is if we want to be here! Then I believe we have to change our egoistic attitude!

      I wish you a healing rain!

      Sean

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I do hope the warning remains that. It is always worrying. For us, in the summer, we take seriously the fire warning. All the rooms in our cottage have access outside and instructions are given just to get out whenever fire breaks out. It is not easy as I start thinking of the things I have to bring. Anyway, you made this book interesting. I like the setting and I am interested to know how Fr. Pessoa did it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nasty times for many, my friend. I live in a pocket of the U.S. which does not experience natural disasters....few at least...but it has been a tough year for many around the world.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Verlie, everywhere you look there is smoke and new fires occurring every day. Sirens constantly blaring as fire brigades fly past. Yes, one of the things that often escapes mention is the tragedy facing the wildlife. I pray for rain soon...there are tropical lows forming off the coast so hopefully these bring rain but not cyclones. Thanks for reading.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Powerful John, I hope you are safe, and well away from the bush fires? It is alarming, so much destruction, and so many displaced (including wildlife). I appreciate that you've layered your poem into a comprehensive public service message. The situation is clearly urgent.

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