Fire and Ice Revisited by Ed Coletti

Image result for Paradise California Images

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what Frost tasted of desire
He held with those who favor fire.
But added if it must end twice,
His understanding of man’s hate 
Informed him for destruction ice
Is also great and would suffice.
But in my present case I note
The first becomes my final vote.
What’s been started from a flicker
Gets it done a whole lot quicker.

 Following the October 2017 Blaze That Consumed Our House (apologies to Robert Frost)

Paradise Lost/Regained by Ed Coletti

Swing thuribles lit with sweet flickering 
frankincense and cedar shavings
over Paradise this place as in the irony of
a Talking Heads song where everything is good
when no thing or place ever truly is all good 
Purge us with hyssop and we shall be clean
Bathe us in the rose water used in Arabia to clean the Kaaba 
and in Persia to prepare graves for the dead
For evil must be washed away that death have not dominion
where the land will be reclaimed from possession by monsters

Bring forth the tincture of a billion blossoms
The evil creature hath been amongst us
befouling our beautiful wounded land
with the stench of offal from its breath
condemning each of us to its lingering presence
our fate far worse if we do nothing to dissipate
the foul choking blackening smoke that
the monster has belched forth and left us
wearily sickening all the more so that he’d been
here amongst us during another time of great sorrow

Gather sage and cedar to smudge the sacred places twice destroyed
first by fire then by sacrilege to the ancients the Mechoopda 
of the Maidu people whose spirits reside in the central Sierras 
in the watershed area of the Feather and American rivers 
as well as in Humbug Valley Maidu meaning Man 
will persist watching over this land so rudely visited by fire and evil
Today we chant with them to Creator to restore the trees and native plants, grasses, animals ... Everything out here is connected to the lives of 
our Maidu ancestors whom we protect and by whom we are protected 
that such affronts to each and every Mechoopda too shall pass beyond

(occasioned by Donald Trump’s brief visit to the ruins of Paradise, CA  — November 17, 2018)

7 yrs after rescuing lioness, he sees her again.

A lioness is the primary hunter for the pride. Her keen senses, strength and precise pouncing make her a force to be reckoned with. However, one man has been able to join the pride, appropriately named, “The Lion Whisperer.”

 Kevin Richardson has dedicated his life to interacting, documenting, and preserving the lives of Africa’s predators. He came upon two abandoned lion cubs seven years ago in a watery ditch. Kevin took them into his sanctuary about an hour northeast of Johannesburg, South Africa. The sanctuary is a place where the large predators live in a natural environment and are safe from humans.

 “I firmly believe that if I never had got Meg and Amy back, that they would have ended up in some shape or form in the canned lion-hunting market,” Richardson states. Both of the lionesses immediately displayed their intense hunting skills.

 Richardson recalls one instance where the two lionesses fanned out and talked to each other while on the hunt, like they would in the wild. One flushed out the animal, while the other one pounced. “It was just in their DNA.”

The sanctuary was founded by Richardson with a goal of, “Through education, outreach and funding, our mission is to bring awareness to the rapid decline of large carnivores in Africa due to habitat loss, human-predator conflict, the illegal bush meat trade, unscrupulous hunting, disease, and illegal trade.”

Richardson was reunited with Meg, one of the lioness he rescued in a heart-pounding reunion. Meg seemed to be stalking some prey, but instead was approaching the pond where Richardson was. Once she reached the water’s edge, she paused. Not sure of what was swimming below the water, she hesitated to enter.

 However, her complete trust in Richardson was proven when she leaped into his arms in the water. He reassured her through gesturing and talking to her. She could easily hurt or kill him with all “her serious weaponry”, but instead licks his face. “Wow, this lion trusts me enough to come into the water,” he exclaims.

“Meg and Amy are kind of my soul mates. It is kind of like humans, you can meet many many people in your life. But there are very few that you connect whole heartedly with. “I know lions on an emotional, personal level.” Richardson believes that hunting these magnificent animals is personal. The video was composed in memory of the late Cecil. “I do not see them as this commodity.”

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