Forest Fire Roundel

21 Aug
Water bomber

Water bomber fighting a fire near Prince George – July 2014 (Photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly)

Forest Fire Roundel

The forest’s a pyre of crackling heat
bombers are buzzing, flame fighters for hire
glisten black sweat as they hack, spray and beat.
The forest’s a pyre.

Crashing through undergrowth, vaulting barbed wire
squirrel, deer, raccoon dash a panic retreat
to the roar of the fire-wind, flames leaping higher.

Wildfire fighters resist all defeat
as they backhoe and guard, seeming never to tire.
Sweethearts and wives pray below in the street
for the forest’s a pyre.

© 2013 Violet Nesdoly (first published in the Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest Anthology 2013)



What dreadful scenes we’re seeing on the news about wildfires in the south of B.C. and Washington State. My thoughts and prayers are with firefighters and their families in these difficult days.


Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Catherine at Reading to the Core.


Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Form poems, Poetry Friday


Tags: , , ,

8 responses to “Forest Fire Roundel

  1. Linda Baie

    August 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I feel so bad for them all, and for the vast loss, Violet. You’ve written a beautiful tribute to them. I just saw about this latest loss of 3 firemen, saw the news interviewing the parents of a young boy, 20-awful. And yesterday heard about apple orchards gone. We’ve had a few summers in Colorado like this, and what I remember is that we just wished for winter & snow. Best wishes to you and them all.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      August 21, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks Linda! Yes, we’ve had several summers like this now too. I have family around the Oliver B.C. area, where there was a bad fire about a week ago, and on hearing about it immediately my ears perked up double. But there are good news stories too. On the news the other night, they had photos of a family returning to their burned out property to find their goat had survived totally untouched. On top of being deadly, these fires are also unpredictable and capricious. And yes, I’m looking forward to rain.


  2. margaretsmn

    August 22, 2015 at 4:18 am

    You have captured the rage of flaming fires. All that loss is so sad. Out of every tragedy comes hopeful, moving stories. And poems.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sally Murphy

    August 22, 2015 at 6:00 am

    A wonderful response to such a senseless act.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet Nesdoly

      August 22, 2015 at 7:52 am

      Thanks, for coming by, Sally, and for the comment. Yes, throwing a cigarette butt out of a car window may seem harmless, but it can sure do a ton of harm!


  4. Violet Nesdoly

    August 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Thanks Margaret. That “rage of flaming fires” is, thankfully, all in my imagination and from videos. I hope I never have to experience one firsthand!


  5. Tabatha

    August 22, 2015 at 9:47 am

    I like “glistening black sweat” and “fire-wind” especially. Nicely done roundel, Violet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Violet Nesdoly

    August 22, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Thanks, Tabatha! I do enjoy the challenge of form poems. The roundel with its requirement of a repeating refrain seemed to fit the subject.



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