Thursday, January 21, 2010



Cold as a hangman’s noose
the room begs for heat.
A ‘laying of the fire’ ritual begins.
The iron basket joyfully accepts offerings.
Redundant paper, yesterdays news,
skewed headlines clashing,
not folded and neatly historical.
Kindling wood,
once a fence, is latticed again
and layered,
its fresh wounds
smelling of aromatic sap.
Black gold ices the cake,
prehistoric wood, leaving ebony tattoos
on submitting hands,
laid as sacrifice.
The lucifer performs its fiery magic.
Bright yellows turn the paper,
defoliating like autumn,
to fragile ash –
charging the wood with a kiss.
The kindling, passion roused,
stirs the pseudostone from its blackness
to a blush
before it reluctantly glows.
And behold - we have lit.
The room begins to cheat the death of cold
eagerly greeting the crackle and flame
swallowing a growing warmth.

Too soon the hungry grate begins to plead,
an Oliver at the table,
asking for more.
Clumsy, ignoring the decorum of sacrifice,
I succumb to the request.
New lumps for old,
I throw on fresh coal.
The fire, splutters in surprise
and spits out a glowing coal
in reprisal.
The carpet, being greedy,
feeds upon the coal
and sparks into life.

‘Honey, have you got the phone number
for the insurance company ?’


Faith Imagined said...

That was beautiful and the end is hilarious!!!

Jerry R. O'Neill said...

Ice last time. Fire now. I'm thinking earth and wind might be your next pet images.

Whatever you chose, Keith, just keep them coming.