Fire 99

When lightning strikes and wood ignites
Flames sweep up the mountain
The denizens watch with gathering fear
Their homes risk conflagration

Amid the sighs and anguished cries
Evacuation plans take form
While the province brings in action crews
To quell the deadly storms

Lukeís the man with pulaski in hand
And a crew of skookum fighters beside
With careful cleared rows and a long lay of hose
And a ravenous raze close by

Neilís the man with blade in hand
Who carves a road from a slope
He encircles the embers before they can spread
Bringing all the rest of us hope

Brianís the man with hoe in hand
Gathering fuel to pile it high
Where the sheltering arm of the guard trail around
The advance of the flames will deny

While all these and more with their sweat and their toil
Strive to stop the spread of the flames
Their work is for naught if the fire gets hot
And roars past their guard in a rage

Ronís the man with 12 wings in hand
Who moves at the commanders bidding
To map the range and douse the flames
And slow the fire spreading

Newtís the man with flame in hand
And wings to fan the blaze
Great gales of black smoke billowing off
As he steers the tempestuous haze

Asked on the side how a man can survive
In that hectoring haze from hell
Just suck it up my friend says Newt
And pass the petrogel

The counters of beans and meters of means
With their generally acceptable way
Match up crews and machines with hours and deeds
And put cheques in the mail with our pay

With a camp that is tops and a Queen of Opís
And a warehouse stocked with supplies
We can take this show on the road should the need
Of another emergency rise

04/11/13 PMD
Background photos by Bob Van Natter