“The Firebreak” by Gordon Goodman

The emptiness inside is what prevents
A spread of otherwise relentless flames
That yearn to jump the gaps in our defense
Of memories built upon forgotten names

The first responders dig a trench in earth
Beneath the mineral soil down to the clay
Whose lack of vegetation spells its dearth
As all the broken heartaches drift away

And then smokejumpers start the final push
With water borrowed from diverted streams
That drown remaining sparks and floating ash
In pools of listless, restless, haunting dreams

But in our smothering search for priceless air
What lovely longings spring from such despair


“Black Orchid” by Anson Clark

During that final Indian summer of Keynesian Economics
The men with handlebar moustaches played cricket
Whilst I dived too deep searching for coins.

The Black Orchid swoons, beautiful but fragile.
The shell-shocked man loved it so much. Too much.
They thought they were kings, but on the continent
Blood was boiling in some Byzantine pot.

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