A fire tried to take my neighbour’s home away last week.

I sat on the roof of my house

like the other neighbourhood kids,

 and watched as cars raced

in succession up our street,

 anxious folk, rushing toward the safety of their homes

 before the fire trucks reached


(The yasa boys were the only crazy ones around).

We all saw the flames,

but they were the brave ones

 who tried to put it out


My neighbour had just left town

minutes into his road trip, oblivious to the crisis,

and of how

a fire crew had scrambled up his roof,

tore apart the ceiling and

hosed his living room down, how,

outside, the small group of bystanders

had turned into a crowd,

phones high, going live

on social media for clout


The same week,

we watched a whole town burn down on T.V.

The hellishness of it

haunting heavily our lips; humble families

finding their only refuge in the seas,

the ocean,

their only protector while they waited for relief.

(The sirens had not sounded, the winds had not tamed)

the nearest help was miles away. Their leaders had failed.


From where I was sitting, I could see the smoke clearly,

and so could the other kids

We were our neighbour and the folk of the town,

bones weighed down with anguish and grief


The capitalists still race past the warnings

leaders coddle their ignorance as if the sirens aren’t resounding.

Deaf to the earth’s cries, they build their ambitions high,

while the fires inch closer to where they reside.


Every day, our home burned, and we all saw the flames

But we were a crowd of bystanders believing we were safe.


Every day, our home burns, and we all see the flames

Will we be the brave ones who’ll put it out?

or will we be the leaders who failed?