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.”