Yesterday, I drove north to my car mechanic's shop, and I found the sky filled with smoke. A major fire had broken out in the northern hills. Today's poem, which I wrote yesterday, is a prayer for victims of the fire and the victims of other fires which are raging throughout Southern California.
Firefighters tackle the blaze driven by high wind as most of the homes in the Oakridge mobile home park burn in the Sylmar Fire in Sylmar, southern California. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands of residents forced to flee as a series of ferocious wind-driven wildfires raged across Southern California Sunday, virtually circling the city of Los Angeles.
A Prayer For Fire Victims
by Harry Kottler
Today the sky was filled with smoke
Over the northern hills of L.A..
The normal light
Was not in sight
On this quite tragic day.
Many people lost their homes
And others were displaced.
L.A. is quite fire prone
And often fires blaze,
But this fire moved quite rapidly,
And through large stretches it tore,
And more home went up in smoke
Than in ten years or more.
And so I write a prayer for those
Who've lost homes and possessions.
Oh, Lord, please give folks solace
And to their lives bring restoration.
The destruction that nature can bring
Boggles the mind and heart.
Oh Lord, please give people peace of mind,
So they can make a brand new start.
And Lord, may all the fires be controlled;
May the winds subside.
May no more homes be destroyed
And may smoke leave our skies.
With love and respect,
Harry and Helen
for years now, i've played the rudram daily (and, at times, sung it). i love its prayer to rudra to keep his destructive power away.
in the thaithireeya braahmanam, thritheeya ashtakam, there are the prayers made to the stars in heaven! this portion is called "nakshatra sooktham" which most brahmins chant at home on important days like birthdays etc.
the "nakshatra sooktam" (prayers to the stars) begins with:
"agnirna: paatu krittikaa:"
may the six stars collectively called "krithikaa" (pleiades constellation or taurus) whose adhidevataa is fire protect us all! i join you in praying to lord skanda to protect all folks from deadly fires.