Poem: Even a Small Fire Can, Nov. 4, 2019

Even a Small Fire Can, Nov. 4, 2019

Even a small fire can
from pine needles dried
cast away from their branches,
half-burned wood
cracked black and hollow
overpower the sun
as it fades beneath the horizon

casting light and
bathing in warmth
so too can love be
rekindled from
bits and pieces,
half-burned memories
blurred by time and distance
until once again
it is blinding
it’s warmth untouchable
it’s shape unknowable

How wonderful it would be
to bathe in this fire
with you until
our embers ceased to glow and
cracked black and hollow
even a gentle breeze carries us and
in bits and pieces
spreads us far out across and
back into everything
where we can
begin again

Cranberry Bog, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, NJ – 2019


I wrote this poem after spending time on the shore of a cranberry bog in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. I was there with my dog Shea, and my two friends Erik and Alaina. We sat around a small fire we had rekindled from some smoldering ashes. Whoever had been there before us had kicked sand over the ashes, which wasn’t enough to fully extinguish the coals. I’m sure building a fire is not what you’re supposed to do out there, but luckily we had come along, and when we were finished, properly extinguished our fire.

We all sat there watching the sun as it descended beneath the trees on the far shore of the bog. The light reflected off of the water danced about in the ripples formed by the light breeze. At one point the sky broke out into an almost kaleidoscopic display of colors, with blues directly alongside orange bursts. I see this occasionally. I think it is when a cloud in the distance casts a shadow into the sky. This only happens when the sun is very low.

Later that night I was able to visit someone who has become very dear to me, and whom I care about a great deal. We had become romantically involved, but there was, or rather there may still be a question as to intention which hangs in the air between us. Seeing her later that night instantly brought back all of those emotions, all of those memories, all of that everything- and I knew this would be the case. I am sure you have felt this- am sure you have had experiences such as this. I tried to act reserved and keep my face from revealing all of this. However, I am sure- acting in partnership with my heart, it betrayed me. I don’t blame it. It was only reluctantly that I tried to put on that mask. I had (have) agreed to maintain a deep, open and honest friendship with this person, even if that means sometimes not acting on the instincts of my heart. They asked me once how important it was for the ending of a relationship (or drastic change in a relationship I suppose) to be good. To “end on good terms” as is so often said. I remember not knowing how to respond at first. After a moment I said something along the lines of “It’s not so important, the ending. What’s important is how it feels when two people see each other again. If it still feels the same, if all the emotions are still there, then I’m not sure the relationship ever truly ended.” This is a poem about how relationships can begin again, and how it may actually be because they never truly ended.

Cranberry Bog, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, NJ – 2019

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