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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019
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Richard Grahn
Evanston, Illinois, USA


Flight of the Hummingbird

The Butte County fire zone, where the fire has been out of control for weeks, is dotted with small towns and outlying residences. Many who call it home have been displaced. It’s a place I once called home.

Red-flag warnings have always been a part of life in the area but drought made the situation even more precarious. The resultant dead ponderosas and oaks, the fallen leaves, needles and cones, have proven to be nothing less than tinder.

When I lived there, we had a feeder in a manzanita bush that served as the local diner for countless hummingbirds. It sat right outside the kitchen window. As a young man, I loved to immerse myself in the aerial acrobatics on display there. Even while refilling the feeder, the birds would often sip from it. I hope my feathered friends have all safely migrated south for the winter. But now I ask myself, what is left to come back to?

rain in my dreams . . .
autumn leaves turned
to ash

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