Thin, wiggling whiffs of smoke
sting my bleary eyes.
I try to stoke back to life embers
on the sand.
Now tiny tongues of flame sway,
twist and wiggle
like snakes through parched leaves,
devouring dry twigs,
and sooty pieces of brittle pebbles,
lumps of earth.
My shadow shivers and shrivels
away far behind me
As the dusk broods, darkens and
deepens into ink-black night.
I gaze up and peer at the darkness
beyond the bonfire.
The clear call of unseen cuckoos
and the ticktack tapping
of a faraway woodpecker in the woods
have died down.