Stripped of beauty
on denuded hillsides
bare arms reaching towards
unheeding smudged skies.
Just yesterday blue spruce
fluttered supple eyelashes at wooing birds
rustling Douglas fir sang a resonant summer chorus
while variegated wild fruit hid in
clumps of foliage that dotted
Trinity Shasta’s sacred forest landscape.
healer and destroyer
knows no favorites.
It slays suddenly without mercy
smiting old and young
turning rainbow hues into charcoal.
Earth patiently weaves new garments
a bride designing her trousseau
silk and taffeta for the night
light cottons for the spring days ahead
while the sun bursts juvenile seed,
gleaming jewels for her hair
that will grow
to shade the earth again.
The Hirz and Delta wildfires burned vast areas of California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest in the summer of 2018.
Poem and Photo by Deenaz P. Coachbuilder, Ph. D.
Deenaz is of the Zoroastrian faith. Fire is seen as the supreme symbol of purity and goodness, and sacred fires are maintained in Agiaries (Fire Temples). These fires represent the light of God (Ahura Mazda) as well as the illuminated mind. It is also the symbol of the cosmic fire of creation, a fire that continues to pervade every element of creation, an essential element for sustaining life. Though forest fires can, and are destructive, they are also the source of rejuvination, bursting dormant seedlings into new life. Deenaz is a writer, photographer and artist who uses oil on canvas as her medium. She is the author of two books of poetry, “Imperfect Fragments ” and “Metal Horse and Shadows: A soul’s Journey” and a prior contributor to Tiny Seed Journal. Deenaz is a retired educator, environmental advocate, mother, wife and adoring grandmother.