Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Burning Mountain

As I drove home alone from Salt Lake last night, I rounded the bend to find darkness rising from the Stansbury mountains. The air was thick with smoke, even from so far a distance.

The first line of the following poem popped into my head, so I grabbed notebook and pen and jotted my thoughts down as I drove. I wouldn't recommend doing that, by the way, it's definitely not safe, but I had to grab the inspiration when it struck.

The poem is as of yet untitled, so if anyone has any ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments trail.

The mountain's on fire again.
Smoke smears the valley
like brimstone remnants from Satan's pit.
Three times now it's caught aflame,
thrice in a single season,
as if Hades' rose from the depths of earth
to settle on her slope.
It's eerie how the orange glow
only shows itself in the darkness,
and during daylight hours the purple stain
of smoke dirties pristine skies.
The acrid stench of ash and char
poisons air perfumed
with summer flowers and alfalfa fields,
until a single breath feels dirty.
The glorious sunset turns an angry red,
filtered through the smokey clouds -
My sunset gone awry
as the mountain burns.

Quote of the Day: "Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go." - E. L. Doctorow


~paulette said...

i remember when those mountains were on fire just over 2 years ago now. i was at my parent's home... which was (at the time) on the back line of homes at the base of that mountain. it was at night and i remember standing in the back-yard's silent shadows, literally staring at the ribbon of fire weaving about the mountain's curves... leaving only char behind with nothing but a flimsy plastic posted fence inbetween. as a writer, i was literally struck with awe, finding myself inches closer just to memorize what it looked like...

i too was driven to a pad of paper and a pen... and now there is an awsome scene in my book where the UT lands burn... the leader of those lands literally on his knees, unable to do anything, but watch as i did. (course, he wasn't excited about it, like i was LOL)

it's amazing how these things motivate and inspire some of us... and scare others. your poem was beautiful. if i had the talent of writing poetry, it would be amazing to include something like that in the scene i wrote years ago, perhaps spoken by that tender-hearted warrior. it's just cool to think that both those pieces of work have come from the burnings of the same mountain.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I don't have a title suggestion, but I like the poem!

iZING said...

I enjoy your blog. Please keep up the great work.

Karen Hoover said...

Wow, Paulette. Now I REALLY want to read your book. You described that so visually, so very well, that I could see it right along with you. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you liked the poem. It feels good to be writing them again.

Karen Hoover said...

Tristi - I'm glad you like the poem. I'll probably come up with something when I've got a little more rest. My brain is FRIED! lol

Karen Hoover said...

izing - Thanks so much for stopping by! I'll definitely do my best. I forget sometimes that more than just my small group of writing friends can read my blog. Thank you for the reminder from beautiful Texas! I spent six years in Oklahoma and still consider the south my home in so many ways, even after 23 years away. So thanks again. It warms my heart to know you're so close to "home".

Marsha Ward said...

Thanks for the poem, Karen. It's very descriptive.

I have a niece who lives in--I think the name of the place is Stansbury Park. I'll have to find out if she and her family are doing okay.

Karen Hoover said...

Thanks, Marsha. The Stansbury mountains are kind of far away from Stansbury Park. I'm sure she's fine, though she'd probably love to hear from you. :) If you're ever out that way visiting, let me know and I'll take you to lunch!