Friday, October 03, 2014

Tending Fires

Life and love are flickering flame
Smoldering futile in the half-rotted muck
Of a thousand years of bog
Or underground
Coal-seam sightless flaring
Or bursting dryrotted pineneedle crown-fire
That sucks up the air from the forest floor
A pyric malestromic inferno
Consuming all in fiery seconds
The annihilation of the woods.

But woodland will need
That passionate hellish harrowing
That bursts the fire-broke seedcone
That tears through the mis-formed
Dead-ended past made Solid
That incinerates that crooked timber
That never made anything straight.

Thus, one advocate
The acolyte of the forest-fire affair
And single-night couplings
And lonely aftermaths and
The fatherless son walking
Under strangers' skies
The flare that comes and goes
Leaving man-child mankind
A scorched chaos of livid wilderness
A patchwork of lightning-struck desolation
And desperate procreation
And regret and uncertainty
And nothing certain.

No! Cries a domestic promethean
And acolyte of another path
And makes her case beside
The opened kitchen-door
Burning brand in hand, 

A careful hand wrapping paper
And accelerants in wax and twine
A boxes of matches set to hand
And the twigs tented below
An arranged cage of branches
All within the sturdy hearth
Bound in brick
Bound in iron
Bound in brass
A binding proscenium
Behind glass-door enclosures
And beneath a well-cleaned flue
Place your firestarter.

That ardor, the incinerating
Comes and goes
Lighting the small-wood
Lighting the logs
Lighting the yule-log
Burning the year-log.

That year-log fire
Whose flame steadily glows
Burns what is given it
Burning guttering red-orange flames
In the sap-sweet spring
Burning the rich roaring-fire of
The long-months summer
Burning the steady cherry-red
Warmth of the autumn reaping
And gathering in for the long
Winter days' ember-fire
That fire, fed, that heats
The roof-timbers warm
No matter how heavy
The snows weigh
On the shingles above
The life-long fire
That burns the wood of your years
A prophesy of fire
A life teeming with life
With children grown
And your children's children
In their chaos and youth
The family kept safe
Within the home kept warm

By love's long fire's flame.


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