The ground has changed beyond claim of classification –
clay or sand or silt, percentage between. This is something else,
ash-dark as tannins in water, salt-lake still. The photographic negative
of another place, another day, tree trunks skeletal in flood-plain
light, all light, all liquid – Branches hold back the dry weight of sky,
propped between bare earth and cloud-burden. Know this is
not barren. It takes to learn its colours, and takes away – not fragile
but pushing back at the event, all impulse, resisting force.
That instinct: map damage and explain, excuse. A burn-off, out
of control. Boards peeling at the corners, hangdog,
dates shadowed in red: the universal sign of fire
or the colour walking under our fingernails,
countered in the lurid sensibility of new growth,
and the depth of white in every footprint.