For the dverse prompt. I tried to write of one of the elements, any one, but they all came back to the same one.


I could write of summer wind,
night time bringing the cool of space,
rolling out rivers and oceans of stars,
and day time, sandy desert-dry,
carrying incandescent heat on red wings,
fanning flames that burn up the sky,
making dusk of midnight.

I try to conjure oceans,
tides that roar like thunder, kelp-scented,
mirror lakes where the moon swims
and rivers running, sandy desert-dry,
scars of gullies and the breaking backs
of parched trees, bending beneath
the sweeping waves of consuming flames.

Swallow the air, taste baled meadow hay,
damp of rotting wood beneath fallen leaves,
salt and pine resin, rose-lavender,
the sharp tang of smoke of forests burning,
glittering with phosphorescence,
glimro, trees exploding in fountains of sparks,
no cooling balm this, sandy desert dry,

cruel as thorns, steel-taloned, bronze-beaked,
everywhere the earth laughs, cries, shouts in fury,
with the dry crackle-cackle of the great god fire.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

45 thoughts on “Fury”

    1. Thanks Sarah. It’s been hard to think (worry) about much else. The fires have been raging all around us. Thankfully we had a downpour in the night and the things that weren’t actually dead, are looking a bit less dusty.

  1. The elements are all tied up together beautifully. You evoked all our senses with flames and fires. The great god fire – your last 3 lines sums it all up.

    1. I don’t think we can. We’re still thinking in terms of cost and reconstruction. Very little about the environmental cost and the need to not repeat the same stupid mistakes.

  2. The elements once were a balanced weave, and the Earth’s health was the amassing harmony of those elements. Not much so any more, and thus unleashed fire becomes a tyranny, devouring the others. Your grief of that allows us to savor what is lost.

    1. Yes, you’re right I think. We’ve upset the balance by trying to order the elements to do what we want. We’ve disrupted the harmony and one by one, each element gains the upper hand. All we can do is regret our stupidity and try to make amends. But we won’t.

  3. I can feel fury of the fire in the final stanzas, Jane! I especially love the phrase ‘making dusk of midnight’ and the ‘dry crackle-cackle of the great god fire’.

      1. My friend has been terrified but so far they haven’t been in any danger. She said she’ll just grab her dogs and leave if the fires get too close.

      2. That’s about all you can do. The biggest problem would be finding and catching the cats. When it comes down to it, you just dump everything but them.

  4. A powerful write, reaching all of the senses. I like the repetition of “sandy desert day”. This fire burns in each stanza as you struggle to dream of other elements. Love this approach and your language rich phrases. Stay safe, Jane.

    1. Thank you! I’m pleased you saw the strain. It’s been fraught for so long, and we’ve been promised another episode before the end of the month. There’s been enough rain to damp the earth here, but not enough to put out the fires burning beneath the ground. It’s there all the time, the fear that it will break out again, aided and abetted by the wind.

      1. I feel as though I’ve been cheated. All through the winter I look forward to the warm weather and this summer it’s been a plague. It will be freezing again soon enough.

    1. We’ve been close to it, but not in the thick of it. I think this summer has brought it home to a lot of people that we are all vulnerable, at the mercy of an idiot and a cigarette butt. Fires and floods can affect anyone anywhere because we’ve completely messed up the climate.

  5. Pingback: Fury – Nelsapy

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