Etna, September 2001
Heat from Earth's heart caresses sturdy soles.
Foreign boots crunch on black pumice,
resonate with the armies of inevitable war
whose preparations bulge from screens
between commercials, elsewhere.
Lava has burnt a recent swathe, surgically;
incandescence excised the living from its path.
The detritus of a mountain's wrath,
a hard rain of acrid rubble, proved
exponential in collateral danger.
Foothill villagers invoked idols;
nature and science kept people alive.
From sharp dry rock we survey beauty that
humankind is so eager to sacrifice to Gods,
so uneasy to please, on this heavenly body
ready to spit or swallow our fire next time.
If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear