Here is a poem that Tim Green did not choose for Rattle's Poet's Respond feature for today. I like the poem he did select though.
We've had almost two weeks of smoky haze on the Olymptic Peninsula blown south from forest fires in British Columbia. This is a picture from the beach at Port Townsend about 6 days ago. There is finally some blue sky today. But the fires rage on.
Photo: Jason Tomlinson
4th of July
There is haze made of smoke covering the dome
of our small plot of home. Fires cover hectares
of land in British Columbia and farmers have lost sheep,
humans are sent to hotels to fret about crop and barn
and dwellings. We hope the pets are safe.
We say, stoically, things can be replaced.
There are fires across the border in Washington too,
proving how borders lie. It’s been too hot, too dry
and we are told these are natural events, although a youth
here and there helps lightning along with gasoline, cigarettes,
or fireworks on the US side of things. No one speaks
of it. We go on as if. Some are glad of respite from the heat,
while casualties visit walk-in clinics with sore throats
and bits of charred evidence in their lungs.
The sun, high in the sky, looks like the moon.
No one has any blessings for us, we are doomed
and we know it and don’t seem to care.
I stare directly into her face, she does not speak.
Can anyone anywhere convince me to go on?