Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OIL FIRE, by GEORGE BOND



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THE OIL FIRE, by            
First Line: The lightning strikes, a sudden blinding flash
Last Line: Is smouldering ruin, shriveled, seared and black.
Subject(s): Fire; Oil Fields


THE lightning strikes, a sudden blinding flash
Of forked fire, a rending, tearing crash,
A deafening roar that shakes the very ground,
A sharp report, a sudden crackling sound!

The tank is struck! the mounting flames leap high
In wild fantastic light against the sky.
The strong steel crumples writhing in the heat
Twisting grotesquely, savage heat waves beat

In furnace blasts along the reeling air,
The oil fields lit and crimsoned with the glare
In wild unearthly beauty. Heavy, low
The black smoke hangs above the sullen glow

In rolling clouds with red flames bursting through.
The whole earth has a lurid crimson hue,
The curious crowds that gather in to gaze
In half awed silence watch the great tank blaze

In devastating splendor. Far and wide
The sullen smoke hangs low on every side, —
The giant tank boils over, everywhere
A boiling flood of flame. The scorching air

Is blistering; blinding, seething torrents flow
In red cascades of flame. The savage glow
Of molten metal smoulders, twisted, scarred;
The oil soaked ground is blasted, burned and charred.

All that remains to show the great fire's track
Is smouldering ruin, shriveled, seared and black.





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