Here’s a poem I’m crafting about the firestorms that blazed through Sonoma County in October. The fires are now all 100 percent contained, but the damage is massive and recovery will be a long process.

to go on

to go on as rain
overdue, patters ash
driveways lead
flames fizzle
fire trucks follow
lonesome roads

to go on as chimneys
naked, stand alone
rubber duckies rest
on burned-out cars
twisted wheels whir
reporters pack up
looking for the next
big story

to go on as evacuees
haunted, remember
fists pounding
flames engulfing
animals shrieking
houses exploding
pages, charred, floating
through noxious air

to go on as husbands
long for wives, children
mourn parents, sisters
console brothers, babes
cry for elders, families
in thousands
reel, no longer

to go on as survivors
dazed, open wallets, search
closets, buy food
for the ravaged,
neighbors hug neighbors
grateful for what was
what is lost forever
what remains


Laura McHale Holland
Nov. 4, 2017


How does this poem affect you? Have you lived through firestorms or something else that devastated large portions of your community? Did you write about it? How did you and your neighbors recover?


Photo of charred area from Marketwatch

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