from Fire

The wombat with its hundred chambered warren running
Under the earth’s surface exits through one of its many entrances
Into the night air. The smell of gray shadows and dry land opens
Sky-like around him while wallabies, bettongs, skinks and birds
Disappear into the empty tunnels below, now darker than the sky
And earth. In and out they move, cluttering the burrows’ vacancy
Drawing the earth over them like a tent. In close quarters
Blue falls away, and vivid green. Above, the nervous crack of dry lighting
cloud to cloud cloud to earth, then combustion, heat. The run.
Like deep night, dark settles in the eye. Thin barked resinous trees blossom
Into flame. Wombat and creatures lodge in his many empty rooms
Under the even tempered earth as the fire above
Turns soil and surface to glass.

Jaime Robles is a writer and visual artist. Among her books are Anime Animus Anima and Hoard (Shearsman Books), Loup d’Oulipo, Letters from Overseas, and Soundtracks. She recently edited and produced Cobalt Blue, a selection of poems and art by Sam Francis for the Sam Francis Foundation.

Previous | Next