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Forest Fire

ISSUE:  Summer 1975
SET loose upon the hills to tramp all night
To crawl beneath the season’s leaves
Or tower into trees with searing light
And breathe upon a bright framework of limbs,

The fire proceeds before the wind,
A liquid light of tongue curled upon tongue
And waves of heat that hypnotize the eye,
That beckon one to walk within.

The blaze exhales and we retreat foot after foot
Like soldiers from an ancient war
With meaningless shields tempered to reason
Reflecting the night’s black wick and flame :

The leaves of every branch struck like a match,
The toppled oak consuming from the ground ;
All night the hills are loud with falling trees,
Are bright with foliage eating from its branch.

Wyatt Prunty


TIGER when I was fleet
and could leap and sprint
a hundred miles an hour
you never lifted your lazy eyes
or your shaggy head above the grasses

Now my haunch leaks drops of blood
on the blades you’ll move through
My pores taint the air
to lead you my lame way

I know
before you do
that I am trapped in your stalking

Your eyes will bead
on the clues of my wound
Your nostrils will tighten around my smell
You will rise and stripe
the yellow grass

Tiger you’ll move with the stride of a tyrant
Slowly, toward a sure thing.


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