The California mountains are burning

The British Columbia forests are burning

The San Juan National Forest in Colorado is burning

All producing thick clouds of smoke visible from a satellite in space

No one knows exactly how they all began

 

And I focus on an old flame

Write about it in verse

In a sestina

In a sonnet

In a new form

In a way that a newly scorned woman would say it

After all this time,

the bad prose in lines with repeated words and

some rhyme

feels good

 

Thousands of homes have been destroyed

Thousands of mothers, fathers, and children have been detained

at a US/Mexico border

Nicaragua is in civil unrest

so is Honduras, Guatemala, y El Salvador

Fidel has died, so has Hugo Chavez

Mexico just elected AMLO, the best of the worst

People say

Palestine and Israel still fighting for Jerusalem

Croatia, an underdog, just won the World Cup

The local news are depressing

except for the rescued kittens and puppies

All the attempts for a revolution, for change

Are met with squadrons and tanks in ordinary public streets

The public schools are looking more and more like prisons

 

So I turn to my old flame,

the Van Gogh-ish turbulence

of my L.A. days,

and write about a demise I know so well

Because somehow it helps me make sense

of the orange haze of all the fires

of today

 

******

EDIT: “All the Fires” was written by Maria L.M. García who holds full copyright.

Correction: “All the Fires” by Maria L.M. García