The Standing Dead by Lauren Donley

Twisted skeletons in grotesque poses

lift their charred arms to a sky

bluer than any lagoon.

Their souls whisper in the breeze

playing around them gently

like children between church pews,

offering benediction for things

lost in the fire.

The blackened landscape surrenders

to emerald foliage, seemingly

out of place in nature’s graveyard,

remnants of a long-ago burn.

It is a wilderness jigsaw puzzle,

the yin and yang of survival

in a place such as this.

Fire is a wanton savage,

the burn a purification.

Pine cones unblushingly

opened their skirts to melting resin,

spitting their guarded seeds

into ravaged soil,

sanctified by cremation of the old

and ready to birth sanguine shoots

that will resurrect the land.

The standing dead keep watch,

relics of the devastation

that brings forth life.

Categories: Issue 1 - Fall 2011, Periodicals, Poetry | Leave a comment

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