The Fire-Wall by Bill Nevins

“My friends have gathered here for me/I think they’re singing to be free.”
—Nick Cave, “Ghosteen Speaks”

Flames broke the ridge line just the other day,
Saturday—I would leap sky dive if I could!
And now the winds whirl screaming
So near to Hallows Eve
We ran away, but daren’t leave
For this place is where we need be
If any dead sons, parachutes reversed
Are to raise their voices
Up from those stark caskets, urns and dust
From the iron star’s unsleeping rust
To sing
To you
To me
If any dead hearts
Should beat
Should burn
If there is any new truth
We live to learn
Curious as any mountain cat
If any horseman head in hand
Does not pass but pauses
To listen, speak, draw near
To see what revealing blaze
May vault that smoking ridge.


Bill Nevins writes from both the mountain heights and the river valleys of New Mexico. He is glad to be alive at age 73. You can reach him at bill_nevins@yahoo.com