Tag Archives: “The Fires: A Poem by David Mason”

AFTER THE FIRE…The Power of the Pen

(Public mural painted on the entire brick side of a building in Old Colorado City by talented artist Allen Burton in 1999 and enjoyed by tourists and locals.  Photo by Marylin Warner)

Dear Mom,

Until the last decade or so, you were always writing. Maybe you don’t remember, but I do. You wrote articles and essays; you wrote children’s stories and often illustrated them.

And you wrote poetry. All kinds of poetry expressing happy occasions, interesting people you watched, places you and Dad traveled, and narrative poems that told stories. Some of the story poems were about nature and animals, and some were were lessons about life. Your poems covered real life, joys and sorrows.

This summer, Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region suffered a horrible fire that began in Waldo Canyon and spread quickly, out of control. It was the state’s most destructive wildfire, destroying nearly 350 homes and killing two people. It’s over now, but the cleanup continues. When we finally had a long-needed rain last week, the Colorado air was crisp and clean for awhile, but the burnt areas were flooded, black soot overflowing across roads and damaging more homes.

Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason wrote a poem about what happened here. I want to share it with you because he is a fellow poet, experiencing life fully, watching and recording, sharing the details through his poetry. When I come to Kansas to visit you this month, I’ll bring some of your poems along and read them to you again. Maybe, if we talk about ideas, we’ll try writing a poem together.

We love you, Mom. You’ll always be our family’s Poet Laureate.     Marylin

~      ~     ~

The Fires: A Poem by David Mason, Colorado’s Poet Laureate

Here is a house, here is a neighborhood.

Here is a street, a door, a window, a room.

Here is a drought, here a beetled pine.

Here is a wildfire leaping from limb to roof.

There is a law of lightning, law of wood.

There is a need to burn, to lose, to grow.

There is the charred scar, there the flying ash.

To dwell is not to shelter, we should know.

Here are the people packing their cars to flee.

Here are the photos in frames, the pets on leashes.

Here are the children bewildered, coughing smoke.

Here are the firemen climbing the hills in the heat.

We are the street, we are the neighborhood.

We are the garden living and dying to bloom.

We are the parched yards, we are the trembling deer.

We are the long walk looking to find our home.

(Practice-stitch sampler, used by owner’s permission. Photograph by
Marylin Warner.)


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