by Larry Strattner

Last night the rain began.

It always rains in winter here.

Fires go out and many folks are saved

Except those resting in clusters of bones

Cradled in ashes of what once were homes,

upon a time.

Built by people

who should have known better

But whose thinking's

often ruled by ambition and pride


So, from windows or patios

On the edge of ravines

They savor panoramas 

through hungry flames

whose goal is to devour, masticate 

and digest,

Regurgitate, show no mercy

To any who thought, a beast would care

for them, other than as fuel, fat sputtering, cooking, 

eating the walls, melting driveways, twisting steel frames 

of tricycles, none rode to safety,

Let alone to laughter or childhood games.


The world is harsh in our forest primeval.

Cold and unloving, the blackness of night.

In its shape of nothingness and spite,

not inclined to ever make anything right.

Those marked to be eaten, are eaten.

Those chosen to eat, consume the unlucky

And anyone else, who is just passing through.


The deepness of darkness will conceal who it must

outcomes of lives which have been deemed unjust:

cursed by twisted equations, which determine the arc 

of the searing knife's joyful, killing thrust.

Flames gutter, and go out; for a year or two. Respite 

granted to me and to you

Until another spring beckons majestic clouds.

Wandering jewel-blue skies for a time

Before spiting a fiery bolt down a snag

just enough to guide flame to the ground,

reintroducing, the eager Beast, all around.