Savannah Renaissance

Photo of burning forest


Across the landscape seething

As a dragon breathing

The conflagration whirling

As smoke begins swirling


Long-needled brown duff

Provides incendiary stuff

To spread ore the floor

Consuming stems, leaves, and more


Incense billows to the sky

As ash and ember upward flies

Bringing death, destruction, and renewal

Creating a green menagerie jewel


Animals dig, soar, and scamper

Ahead of the fiery clamor

Sunflowers in smoke dance and sway

Soon sprouting new life after embers foray


Petals uplifted thus to praise

Basking in the sun’s pleasant rays

Dreading the approaching flame

But willing all the same

To endure the pyrogenic phase

Preparing new ground; more flowers for praise


Bluestem grasses will carry

The blazing torch to briefly tarry

As long as wind and combustibles permit

Smoke to emit and ash to soil submit


Bringing a photosynthetic renaissance

Reaching to the sky in response

The sparrow sings with glee

For new growth and seeds for me and thee


Poem by Robert Carter

After 20 years in academia as a forest ecologist, I now teach college part time and serve a naturalist with a museum. One of my areas of research was fire ecology. For years I published fire ecology research in scientific journals. Now I can focus on the rejuvenating aspects of fire as a natural cycle in nature.