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The World Fire

Some say Coyote did it. Cocky, he was. He’d stolen fire from the sky. He’d stolen fire from a magnet. He’d learned to steal fire from water. He’d rubbed two sticks together until the fire had come out from its hiding place. He’d found fire in a black stone. He was feeling pretty good. He was strutting. He wanted to show off. So he got a little careless. It was an accident, some say. Or a spill, maybe. There was a girl, there, would do it for money. Maybe that was involved. Maybe he thought: “I’ll have more women than Solomon.”

It was driven by greed, sure, but it didn’t have to be. It would have happened anyway: “Here, look, these people are cold. I’ll just build a little fire for them, here, in the brush.”

And it’s driven by hatred, sure: “I want fire on that hill.” Phosphorus. Uranium.

Greed and hatred make it worse, but the world would’ve burned anyway, just because there is fire. He had the best intentions. He just tripped, they say.

For thousands of years people told the story, in the past tense. That the medicine of the story keep the flame in the fire pit. But gradually people forgot the old ways. A new age dawned. The Modern Age. People are smart now. People are more intelligent now than they used to be. But do they even know which planet they are living on? They think there are a bunch of them. “Hey, let’s build another planet.” “Make a fire, so we can cook it up.”

They forgot that it had all happened before. Where did they think all that charcoal coming out of the ground had come from? A temperate forest? A cool savanna? A place where it snowed in the winter?


One comment

  1. N. J. Gregory writes:

    There are not many poet’s who can make a healthy grown man cry, and for good reasons.

    When I read Dale’s work, I feel like Fran Lebowitz reading Dorthy Parker.

    Yea there’s the Shulgin’s, Grof’s, McKenna, Brroughs… but no one packs so much beauty and joy into such a serious collection of topics.

    Thank you Dale.

    August 31st, 2011 at 10:19 am

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