Whale-breath blasts up through the moonlight
in a bubble-net of vapor;
trade-winds catch the spout and droplets
stream through palm baleen on Maui.
I'm wakened, drawn toward the ice-thin window,
to witness scenes as faint and still as death.
How bleak the moon; how bare the trees and meadows;
sky's pale maw overhangs
Hie me to the hill-ground,
the high hill ground of Scotland,
to battle bladed wind-blasts
my forebears fought before me,
It starts with lightning, tinder, and a gust.
Smoke-jumper teams, at this stage, may contain it—
clad in Nomex, ‘chuting down to dust
they rip along the fireline like a bayonet,
Well, I went for a walk last Halloween
on the scariest night you've ever seen.
and to prove to myself I was not afraid
I went to a place where the dead are laid: