Poetry: The Laws of Nature


Glacier National Park

“Howe Ridge Fire 2018” by GlacierNPS is marked with CC PDM 1.0.

The Laws of Nature

I am not a gentle person.
Let me say that again,
I am not someone who provides comfort.
I am fire and brimstone, jagged obsidian and hot coals.
I will hurt you if you get too close.
I will burn you before you can burn me.

I radiate heat.
Only some are strong enough to get close.
I reward them with offerings made of my body,
For keeping the chill away.
They deserve praises for being so strong.
These gifts are not given out lightly,
Nor do they take anything from me.
No one may take what I do not give.


At night, I do not cower, shrink or weaken.
The moon holds no power over me.
Although Luna is an old lover –


I am ignited.
I am both the match and the flame.
I do not provide mere warmth, only fever.
To be sweat out and put to rest.
Only no one can,
And so, I continue to burn.

(i did not always burn with her)
(nor was i extinguished)
(she would never ask that of me)
(i provided light in dark nights)
(as she provided shade on hot days)

I am ancient.
I am a veteran of a primordial war.
I am not yet done.
I am consistent, eternal.
I will remain.

(i am alone)
(sometimes i wonder what life would have been like)

(if i had not scorched her surface)
(if i had no desire)
(or anger)
(or anguish)
(if i had let us simply exist)
(in the paradise we sustained together)

I am brimstone and fire.
I am embers and sparks and hot, hot coals
I am a righteous pyre.
I reign victorious.
I revel in my consummation.

I am tired.

(does she ever think of me?)
(when she consorts with the sea)
(do they calm the fires i created?)
(did they soothe the pain i left?)
(does she miss me in between peaceful moments?)
(or does she only remember the searing flames and the shock)

I have been alive for four billion years.

And I will be alive for four billion more.
I am old, so old.
I exist in the empty cold.
Radiance is not worth much on your own.

(with her i was not an intense ball of heat)
(i was a glow)
(i was luminous and fluorescent)
(i was myself)
(not better or worse)
(just me)

she never asked anything of me
she did not wish for me to change
not once did she diminish or disparage me
she loved me
without reservation

I will not stop my rampage.
I will not cool down.
I refuse to end my war for the sake of another,
Because no one can change me,
And no one can break me.

maybe if i refuse to slow down
and show no weakness
she will come back
or i will convince myself
that i do not need her

i miss you
my god,
i miss you.

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