Wood Burner

Molten crimson velvet
sloughing ash
delicately grey,
irregular pulsations,
silent throbbings,
vermillion to black.

Fire.
contained
in an iron box
with a viewing glass,
appearing tamed – 
illusion.

Flames lick.
Flames dance.
Flames reach 
and retreat
in yellows, purples,
oranges, blues,
radiating heat,
drying clothes,
removing moisture.

Fire.
Held.
Contained, barely.
Always like the sea
untameable, 
wild, 
unpredictable,

Fire grabbing the air,
pulling to itself wood,
devouring,
all 
the while
random sparks
ascending,
in hiss, spit, crackle.

Flame consuming,
irreverent, uncaring
tumbling down
fireworkings,
a cascading aurora
in a box,
mesmerising
magical,
menacing,
drifting in place
needing no sky
for its dancing.

In reality,
we know so well now,
fire is a predator,
consuming and violent,
yet also
the paradox
when contained,
fire can be
friendly, warming, comforting. 

 

Incoming

In the dark beyond
our doors tight shut
celebrating bonfire night
hear
whistles in the night
a moment of silence
then pop and bang
explosions
boom boom boom
again again again
harmless when careful
see
sparkling fireworks display
colour illuminates the sky.

Tonight
in dry lands
in inhospitable places
in alien locales
infants children teens adults elders
Mosul and Aleppo,
hunker down
cower
nowhere to hide
hear the sounds
ring out
bombs rockets mortars
rain from sky
reach from sea
erupt from land,
endure shellfire.

Feel —
fear terror shock,
witness —
injury
death
loss
destruction
horror,
know —
unspeakable actions
unutterable results,
hellfire.

In tonight’s darkness
as we hear
whistles
silence
pops
bangs
booms,
sprinkling awe
cascading light
it is impossible to ignore
these are no threat.