The wiggling whiff of smoke stings my eyes,
so I try to stoke back to life the buried embers.
Now tiny tongues of flame sway, twist and wriggle
like snakes through parched leaves, devouring twigs,
even sooty pieces of brittle rocks and pebbles.
As the dusk broods, darkens and deepens into night,
my shadow shivers and shrivels away behind me.
I gaze at the darkness beyond the dancing bonfire:
the calls of unseen cuckoos and the ticktack tapping
of a faraway woodpecker have all died down.