How fire has a way of going viral,
Faster than a post of a modern-day Lady Godiva
On Facebook, and still, there are
No miracle cures for the wild things.
Prometheus didn’t bring
Fire to this world, for mankind
To set her beautiful green lungs on fire.
While poor Gaia takes a selfie from a
Far away satellite to see how bad
The situation is on ground.
The botos – the pink Amazon river dolphins
Sense the water heating up, the jaguars
Race the fire, while the fire fighters,
And the helicopters deliver water,
As the common man awaits in patience.
The consciences on Facebook are bigger
Than consciences on the street of Sao Paulo,
While the lengthy hoses at the hands
Of the fire fighters look like feet-long
Anacondas puking it all out.
After the immolation, the world counts the
Losses. The trees that were planted by God,
Calling it his providence to mankind,
A toll bigger than any alimony check,
Signed by a tycoon called Jeff Bezos.
The snail, the leech, the grasshopper,
The spider, the ant, the gecko, those little
Creatures that become cogs on a foot web,
Staking a claim – pint-sized lives do matter.
All the while, the status quo looks glum.
The organic pillars of lignin and cellulose,
Now powdered ash, while the roots
Remain intact like a 60s fallout shelter,
And water, that was thrown into
The mix, now evaporating faster
Than crumbling slush up a plastic straw.
While a lone spider monkey,
Looks for a stiff branch, to throw
His prehensile tail, like a lasso.
As a venomous spider starts weaving a web
On a patch of jungle, symbolic of
How resilient life can be, even after
The devastation on ground.
Hope rarely dwindles here, like
An angiosperm in spring, building
Domes of buds that open
Like hungry mouths.
The broad-leafed canopy grows back
Like a salamander’s chopped limbs,
As stubs that slowly point outwards and open.
A purple orchid blooms on a balsa tree,
Reminiscent of a fresh beginning;
The restoration of an ecosystem.
The scaffolds grow back, the vanilla pods fall below,
The arbuscular mycorrhizae proliferate,
And the industrious ants hurry past,
While seated comfortably in their armchairs,
The sulking gods finally effloresce.
Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist by training. He lives in a chimerical universe of science and poems. His poems are published in Heartwood Literary Magazine, Canary Literary Magazine, Boston Accent Lit., among others. He lives in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka.