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Philosophic Dialogue with Fire

by Kevin T. McEneaney
Wed Jul 10th, 2019

Sitting by my iron woodstove in winter

with pipes clanking as they warm,

I ponder how fire has played

a pivotal role in forming humankind.

 

With fire we could barbeque,

eat more safely, keep warm,

even turn forests into grasslands

enabling more animals to graze.

 

Fire says “I’ve inspired imagination

to transform your life

in more productive directions

by contemplating flickering flames.”

 

Is not fire the standing metaphor

for the blind excitement of intemperate youth?

Is not fire the image of young love?

To live in the moment like the point

of a flickering flame remains

a quest, a youthful fantasy.

 

Fire says: “I am transcendence,

the flame of truth in the moment,

consuming the past and birthing

the new in metamorphic moments.”

 

The fire in my brain puts words to paper,

consuming paper, and from its ash

a re-birth of identity for you and me

in a world that runs on fire.

 

Fire says: You will be destroyed by me

for you cannot control me.

I will eat you in the end.”

 

“Even so,” I reply,

“we will become

winking embers of wisdom

before our glow expires in darkness.”