the smell of wood, the scorch of fire, a poem … and Your Wednesday Writing Prompt

stumpsthis rough-barked sequoia stump, sitting in majesty
in its coastal home, victim of wildfire, burned down
to its gnarly roots, its nicks, holes and char, eons
of scars, life seemingly cut off, goddess snake alive
inside the concentric circles, the smell of wood and
scorch of fire, at the verge of our infinity, in its truth ~

pristine

rugged

pulsing

haunted by the geometry of limbs, the calculus of green,
the algebraic eloquence of a world within a world  ~

So present.

So essential.

So primal.

it sings to itself in the marrow of our bones

– Jamie Dedes

WRITING PROMPT

In preparation for The BeZine 100,000 Poets (and Friends) for Change

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Theme: Environment/Environmental Injustice

This poem was originally written in 2014 for Wilderness Week. There were then and are now a number of fires raging in the western United States. Wildfires are a natural occurrence but since the 1980s they’ve been increasing due to human-caused climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists . . .

Wildfires in the western United States have been . . . occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003) ….. many of the areas that have seen these increases—such as Yosemite National Park and the Northern Rockies—are protected from or relatively unaffected by human land-use and behaviors. This suggests that climate change is a major factor driving the increase in wildfires.” MORE

We tend to look at these fires in terms of the expense incurred fighting them and the cost of lives, homes, habitat, wild life and so forth. However, there’s one consideration we may forget: Nature teaches us, comforts us, feeds us and is the ebb and flow of our spiritual and physical lives. The loss – the environmental injustice – is profound on more than a material level. This is what the smell of wood, the scorch of fire seeks to illustrate. “Nature” is who we are. Nature is us.

Write a poem or creative nonfiction piece on what the natural environment means to you and perhaps the sense of loss you feel as you note plants, animals, insects and wilderness that you’ve seen damaged or destroyed by climate, industry, overpopulation and whatever else has effected the area in which you live.

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reservedPhoto credit ~Bay Nature.org: “The Bay Nature Institute, based in Berkeley, California, is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. We do so with the aim of inspiring residents to explore and preserve the diverse and unique natural heritage of the region, and of nurturing productive relationships among the many organizations and individuals working towards these same goals.” Read more HERE.

You are invited to join The Bardo Group Beguines at The BeZine blog on Saturday, September 24 for 100,000 Poets (and friends) for Change.  Below is a list of more features to provide you with information. We hope you’ll join us.

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14 thoughts on “the smell of wood, the scorch of fire, a poem … and Your Wednesday Writing Prompt

  1. It is sad…as we head into bushfire season here it seems to get more and more extreme every year…then appears to be directly followed by severe floods. Yet we still clear land without thinking…as if it doesn’t impact the environment or climate change. It is a scary future we step into weather wise.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I feel the same way I am so worried for my children and grandchildren. Thankfully the planet can heal quickly if we act so I live in hope our voices are heard if we keep speaking loud enough. So this is a wonderful way to be a voice for change. 🙂

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  2. I appreciate the depth of sentiment and emotion embedded in natural process but refuse to accept all of nature in its processes of creation and destruction. Nature is wonderful in its birth and developmental growth, in its power and brilliant displays of energetic force but disease, miseries, inherent brutality, cancer and other various horrors are also perfectly natural so I am very wary of nature in totality for appreciation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t disagree. It’s a mixed bag. And man’s inventiveness and many contrivances are a mixed bag too. Life is much easier thanks to the later, but it does have a downside that needs to be addressed or the insults of nature are worsened … including illness … and I say this living with an illness that is debilitating, now chronic and stable but will ultimately be the end of me. Horror and beauty, flip sides to the same coin. Horrors are eased and the beauty enhanced by good stewardship. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, read and share your thoughts. They are valued. Be well. Warmly, J.

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      1. I am, at the moment, only 90 years old and have had a generous peek at both sides of the coin. A news item a day or so ago mentioned that some guy in Indonesia had reached the age of 140 and another in Ethiopia a while back claimed to be 160 so it seems I still have commercial possibilities. Nature, here in Helsinki, is still one of the blessings in my life.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you for your followup. Finland, I understand, is quite beautiful. Always a blessing to live in a beautiful lively city. It’s always good to meet someone long-lived. Rock on …

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