Not a Natural Disaster

by Siva Ramanathan
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, March 2014
Judged by Robert Lee Brewer


Lounging in a racing Lancer
I see distant trees darken with night,
a bracket of serial bulbs – coming

closer – the outline
of a long hooked nose; suddenly
lights magnified on the mountain
blazing a ‘v’ in the running hand,

and I respond, “How breathtakingly beautiful.”
My husband retorts, “No, how sad,
no helicopter there to douse those flames!
You’re witnessing a forest fire,
how towering trunks collapse
into carcasses of charcoal.

Some rapacious trader set
the first spark.” “Rascal,”
the driver interjects:

“Trees three hundred years
in a flash like undone inner skirts.”


I enjoyed this poem about something beautiful to the narrator that is ultimately proved to be tragic. Three voices are heard, each provides a slightly different perspective, and the poem accomplishes it all in only 18 lines. Impressive--and beautiful--to be sure. --Robert Lee Brewer

  • August 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The World Is Moist in the Morning
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Epitaph
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      I kissed a tree
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

  • July 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      The First Time I Drank With My Father
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      My Bicycle
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      J. Alfred Prufrock Searches for Mrs. Right
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu