The Fire in the Sky: #poem #ClimateChange

There’s fire in the sky:
It’s from the Hindenburg
At the dawning of modernity
36 souls
Ascend to heaven 
As the airship
Plummets to earth.

There’s fire in the sky
From all the victims
Of the Holocaust
6 million lives 
Sons, daughters, husbands, wives
All murdered in a failed attempt to erase
An entire race.

There’s fire in the sky
Above Hiroshima
80,000 dead
In one instant
And thousands more to follow:
In Nagasaki too
The sky’s on fire.

There’s fire in the sky:
Napalm dropped over Vietnam
The death toll rises as
The human race becomes
A race to win
The most land
By the greatest disregard for life.

There’s fire in the sky
Where the two planes
Crashed into the Twin Towers
In the name of God
Alone knows what
3000 lives and more are lost:
Smoke ascends heavenward.

There’s fire in the sky
The War on Terror
Is what the politicians call it
Which sounds better than
‘War is big money nowadays’
Let’s wage war on an ideology:
Make sure the bad guys get it.

There’s fire in the sky
From Grenfell Tower
From the riots, Black Lives Matter
From the Port at Beirut, Lebanon:
There’s fire in the street
From worldwide inequality

Run wild

There was a fire, once upon a time
At Chixilub, in Mexico
Caused by a meteor

Marking a boundary:
Death of the dinosaurs and  
All the sky on fire

There’s fire in the sky:
It’s the whole earth now
The flames lick hungry at our door, for
Even the earth won’t brook
Such inequality
We call it the ‘Anthropocene,’ in an attempt to tame it:
But all names lose their meaning
When there’s no-one left to hear

I awoke to these pictures this morning. I’m not American, so I can’t vote the Climate Change Denier-in-Chief out of the White House, but if you have a vote, please use it.

I also want to send my thoughts and wishes to all those affected by these terrible fires, both in the U.S. and around the globe:

31 thoughts on “The Fire in the Sky: #poem #ClimateChange

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      1. Yes, I think those at the top think if things get bad enough they’ll just be able to jet off somewhere safe…but they run the risk of having nowhere safe left to go!

  1. Beautiful words – so incredibly poignant. I hope they can help inspire the change we need. Thank you for being part of the good fight 🙏

      1. If it inspires one person to take action who in turn inspires another… your words might have a great deal more power than you give them credit. The more all of us can encourage one another to make a change – well maybe we can give our children a chance. Keep at it Ingrid. Wishing you all the best, AP2

  2. A powerful poem, Ingrid, that takes us through history. The repetition of ‘There’s fire in the sky’ emphasises the message, burning through the stanzas like a flame. I like that it begins with the ’dawning of modernity’.The numbers of souls/lives/dead in each stanza really bring home the loss, while showing how destructive and cruel humans are to each other. The final stanzas, about natural fires not caused by humans, are a warning to everyone.

  3. I think our fateful relation to fire goes back to Prometheus – his theft is the essence of technology, creating future out of the gods’ womb. That fire comes back to roost and how in the Anthropocene, a burning savagery we have few and fewer means to escape. The incidents you account here–apocalyptic human acts–are all bred of humanity separation from its earth and a total lack of respect and understanding of the forces we unleash. I don’t think we’ll survive this, humankind at least, or we will so in such a ravaged desert. Well thought and iterated march through the flames here. – Brendan

    1. Thank you Brendan. I wonder if our fate was sealed in those early days. At the moment it seems like a race to see how fast we can burn everything up. I hope at least we can slow the destruction by waking up to the severity of the situation.

  4. Wow! This poem says it all, and so well, reflecting on all the fires and turmoil leading up to today. I agree with Brendan – our disconnection from nature has brought us here. So glad you found earthweal. Your work is important and I am looking forward to reading more. The wildfires are so huge in scope, I havent approached really writing about it yet. But I will. I am wondering what part of the world you live in. Glad you have joined earthweal’s forum. We need strong and aware voices in the ongoing conversation.

    1. Thank you Sherry, I am pleased to be here. Sometimes I think the environmental situation is so vast and ominous that we struggle to face it, myself included. I have young children and I want them to grow up in a world with a future!

  5. Although you write of fire your poem is blood chilling. You express profoundly the awful toll of human wars and greed. Now it is all coming back to haunt us.

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