What can one say of
    utter devastation?

    You should have listened 
    to us beforehand.

    You should have gotten out 
    of the way.

    What you had was not 
    worth preserving.

    Clearly God was punishing 
    your wickedness.

    You’re better off starting anew 
    in a strange place.

    Dry voices ringing
    like cracked church-bells

    except the one true

    I am sorry.  I will help.

    Who knows what sun feels
    scorching the Sahara, swallowing
    caravans of the faithful,

    lava raging over mountains
    with huts and villagers
    like potage?

    Waters taking aim 
    from their deadly gun-wales.

    Nature does not speak
    its cruelty.

    Yet rebirth begins:
    seeds of lodgepole pine sprouting
    after fearsome fires, green

    saplings only days
    after black, black death.

    We who speak
    can articulate sympathy,
    assistance, rebirth.

    The hours of hammering.

    Witness like owls who have taken
    up a collection of eyes,

    perch in 
    the nearest eaves 

    calling for our neighbors.

                                                                     --David Radavich



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