Big Sur

Wild fire on mountains

My great-great grandfather’s
(of the Underground Railroad)
Grave is on fire
His bones feeding fire
The Pinnacles
Where giant condors nest
And set sail for the Pacific
Are on fire
Their homes feeding fire
And the fire next time
The human fire of James
Baldwin hero of the awakening
His words
feeding fire
The fire starters
Are us lighting and laughing
And dancing on graves
On slaves on birds
Our crimes feeding fires


By Ewing Eugene Baldwin

Ewing Eugene Baldwin is a freelance journalist, essayist and playwright. Baldwin’s play, Water Brought Us and Water’s Gonna Take Us Away, about the Underground Railroad in Illinois, was commissioned by the National Park Service. Baldwin’s short story Watchers was nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prize, and his memoir The Trail of Tears was shortlisted for the Cork Prize. The Yale University Climate Change Project recently featured his essay “The Five Seasons,” on the effects of warming in the Mississippi Valley. For the Alton Telegraph, Baldwin has published a series of articles on local black history. His poem Pas De Deux was recently published by Tiny Seed Literary Journal.