This time last year a huge moorland fire raged on Saddleworth Moor which took almost three weeks to extinguish. A poetic memory:

Hot Summer of 2018 – When The Moor Was Set Alight

From a distance the flaming dragon arched and pounced

Over the dark moorland peaks. Up close, sweating

Fire-warriors battled against its scorching tongues.

Under their boots the patches of earth they had won

Lay reclaimed; baked, brown, barren, crumbling and silent

But for the crackling mockery of its advance.

Still; not a quiver of grass, shiver of heather,

No shuffle, scuffle, bustle, squawk or squeak.

Below we breathed in air foul as rotting cabbage,

While winds gathered clouds of malignant confetti;

Showered heads with ashes of cremated wildlife.

Copper butterflies danced low in the dense atmosphere

Screening the sun, amplifying its heat, blinding

The rain god whose head was turned. Forced operations of

False precipitation; flying machines flung down

Precious pond-fuls to douse the devouring demon.

©Pamela Turton 2019