A Fire for Warmth
A few hot-orange embers burn low in the fire pit.
Morning has sprung, evident only
In the vague concrete illumination
of an overcast sky.
Scattered twigs and last night's remaining logs
Are tossed upon the coals,
With a few shivering breathes of dank
October air to give life to flames.
Frost has not yet bitten the landscape;
But the huddled mass of human
leans in, over the kindled fire
For all of its warmth.
The Night's drizzled humidity hiss-boils
and streams from the wood grain of a saturated log,
As the twigs roast and burn.
The starving artist stands firm
In the path of smoke, visible clues
To the heats current passage.
One could inadvertently burn
on the simplest furnace,
Steam rising from sweatshirt and pant leg,
And the moist palm of the hand.
Love, or so it seemed to the dreamer by his fire,
Is like this. A kiss of life
Given openly to the heart's flame,
Fanning the hot embers of friendship and affection.
Once stoked, a glance of chance
Or a lover's touch
Warms the body and sacred soul
Against the icy depravity of an outside world.
And though the cold is most apparent
In the smokey moisture of one's own breath
Hanging in the still air away from the hearth,
The sweet melting passion is best experienced
and not explained or seen.
If the world were any colder
The October sky would crack and precipitate,
splintered and crystallized,
To wipe the canvas clear below
And give substance to a feeling of betrayal
That keeps the lover embracing a modest fire,
Whose warmth forsakes all else.
A dented tin coffee pot percolates
Sustenance into the day's beginning.
Outside the ring of charred-crackling logs,
The world rises up with the gyre of smoke
And is lost to the stone gray sky.
But the fire burns on,
And the hungry heart lays nourished
Within a dreamer's chest.