Poetry from a Colorado Wildfire. ~ Jenna Penielle Lyons

Via on Aug 1, 2013


I wrote this poem from a Forest Service Road (11,000 feet in elevation) near Creed, Colorado while working on the West Fork Complex Fires in early July. I spent time sleeping and drinking coffee on the banks of the Rio Grande and watching plumes of smoke and walls of flame ravage stands of spruce… like Spartan armies. The beauty and power of fire never ceases to amaze me, and as a Hotshot constantly trying to protect people and property from natural disasters, I view the cycles of nature as dynamic systems of power–waxing and waning, ebbing and flowing…constantly in flux, mostly in the  same way people tend to love each other.

Sweet dreams, Colorado.


 Con Sueños, Colorado. 


In the front lines of this noble lineage

of sharp-featured, gilded cliffs,

brash bands of rock whisper in the direction

of the chiseling swirls of knife-edge rhythmic winds

against the undulating spine of a regal horizon.


The grain, motivation, friction, exertion, persuasion

of this Rio Grande—big river,

strong water,

muscular moat,

fluid bachelor—

swindles the posture and demeanor of lacelike banks

into smoothing submission

and eroded, gritty obsession.


Ago-old embroidery of lupine and

mythic horsehair paintbrushes dipped in crimson wounds,

are pigmented crowns atop organic heads and

embedded tediously with nomad pollen jewels—

rising from thrones of ashes, skirts of dust.


And from this rusty, turreted solitude, which belongs to

the rulers of yesterday’s arbor arsenal—

smoke floats on the whispers of trumpets

of vast populations of hushed melting angels,

emerging along the curve of the arched and impatient

back of an infinite ridge top.


And out of this circadian pulse—fight for ground—

upward ascension—

arrows of darting bluebirds freeze and mercury punctures

the black heavens—

metallic assemblages of passing moments and diminishing light

are shields and swords in nighttime’s interminable advance

into tomorrow.


But behind screams of running wind,

from corroded scarlet pools flecked with

red needles and cones, now fallen paupers,

from ever-budding spruce citadels,

from shadowy velvet robes forever folding into galaxies…


From kingdoms eternal

drips the tryst of the blushed communion—

collapsing moment—

forcing the holy ombre space

of rose pink dusk and pale blue dawn

to be shared in an otiose attempt

for the radiant pearl Moon to





the blood red Sun.


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Ed: Sara Crolick

{photo: via Jenna P. Lyons. Papoose Fire, CO}



About Alex Myles

Alex Myles is qualified as a Yoga teacher, Reiki Master, Teacher of Tibetan Meditation, Dragon Magic and a Spiritual coach to name just a few. Alex has no intention to teach others on a formal basis for many years to come, instead, she is collecting qualifications along with life’s lessons. One day, when the time is right, Alex will set up a quaint studio, in a quirky crooked building where she will breathe and appreciate the slowness of those days as life is just way too busy right now! Reading and writing has always been one of Alex’s passions. Alex likes to consider herself as a free spirit rather than a commitment-phobe. Trying to live as aligned to a Buddhist lifestyle as is possible in this day and age, she just does not believe in "owning" anything or anyone. Based on the theory that we ‘cannot lose someone that was not ours to lose’ she flails through life finding joy and magic in the most unexpected places. Mother to a 21 year old daughter and three adorable pups, she appreciates that some of the best moments in life are the 6am forest walks watching the dogs run, play and interact with one another and with nature. Connect with her on Facebook and check out her blog, Love and Madness. 


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