once upon a trail-ride dreary
I could not see it but the pungent stench of smoke hanging in the air was a frontal assault on my senses. This all but dashed the expectation of being welcomed home by the sweet and pure mountain air spiced by the warm waft of the steam from the hotsprings.
I stared hard into the distance. The sun was shining up in the cloudless summer sky, but even that could not penetrate the gloom.
I looked around and my gaze just got shrouded, not from the smoke that i see in the distant mountains, but from the tears in my heart.
Our mother the mountains are being ravaged.
It did not get any better.
The hills are alive with the noise - the death rattle of the sticks as they crackle and blaze to death. the mournful whoosh of the pines as they fall.
The mature pines are not spared.
I lost my way many times. And not for not knowing where to go.
Rather because the fires have obliterated the trails that lead to the mountains, to the fields, and to home.
Whole mountains have been rendered to ash and cinders.
In the evening i settled down to rest.
But the familiar noise of crackles and burning lodged deep in my dreams. I woke with a start and realised it was not a dream – it’s a nightmare! The fires are there.
Looking out the window i saw not a bad dream, but a terrible reality. The apparition of fires circling and suffocating the dense pine groves in the gloomy distance.
The burning season went on into the night... and into the following day, and night, the day after and night of that day, and for days and nights thereafter.
A respite a few days later.
And still another fire starts on the other side of town.
We don’t die in a blaze after all.
We die slowly...
For we’re a long time dead...
and the sun will rise soon on the false and the fair
singin' too - ra - loo - ra - li - o.
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with stereo music
our mother the mountain