The leaves rustle gently at first,
barely moving in the otherwise stagnant air.
But the wind comes, and will come again.
It’s eerily warm when
the hearty Santa Ana winds,
the december gusts, come
to breathe full of life
limbs of dry straw.
Shrubbery sings with that transient weight;
shrubbery that won’t be here tomorrow.
Before the door could be closed
a delicate leaf let itself in.
Frail, yellow, brittle.
Winter boots shatter it;
the shards driven into
the green carpet.
Autumn came when no one was looking, quiet and still,
but Winter knocked on the door.
Warm winds; loose leaves;
oak and sycamore;
unpacked clothes strewn, full of life,
on the floor.
Fires often blow through on winds like these,
—the threat, toothsome and tangible—
but even as the wind whips
and the sparse clouds hurry across the sky,
cruel circumstance sits suspended in hot heavy air.
Heavy walls went like cardboard
big weight bearing beams became matchsticks
that snap between fat flaming fingers
recollection ripped out of picture frames
folders full of ash
crumpled filing cabinets
and melted metal memories
a world engulfed
in the night
in warm welling eyes
in the sweltering night.
Gnawing on the bones
baying at the hunt
howling in the wind
a hound of three heads sicced
delighting in the chaos
in pandemonium’s wild embrace.
the land rested.
no fireman’s boots,
no tennis shoes,
Just cold black earth,
Green growth sparsely populates the scorched earth.
Grasses, gaining ground.
But deep in the center the blackness still sits.
Telling you things are not as they once were,
Succession is a process, aching and raw;
but nothing could be so delicate and pure
as the inkling of new life
among black expanse.
These winds will whip
hearts to attention
for years to come.