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

  • March 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      September Heat
      by Andrew Dufresne
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      At the Cancer Center
      by Terry Ofner
      The Waters

      Third Place

      At Last Ghazal
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Honorable Mention

      Died Last Fall
      by ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

  • February 2022 Winners

    • First Place

      Grand Central Station
      by Christine Potter
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Back Stage
      by Siva Ramanathan
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      VFW
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block