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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Saturday, 14 February 2009

A Fire for You

On this, the shortest day of the year,
I have journeyed to the Great Plains
to build a fire for you.

The night air is cold like a cellar
cut from ancient stones.

But I found some wood among the deserted plains
buried under the grasses and dirt, hidden away like

leaves that had become the soil.

After I cleaned the wood by hand its dirt beneath
my nails and the fabric of my cloth I sent a flame combusted

by the mere thought of you and the wood became fire.

There were hermit stars that gathered
overhead to keep me company.
Your spirit was there as well
amidst the fire's flames.

We laughed at the deep meaning of the sky
and its spacious ways.

Marvelling at the flat mirror of the plain
that sends so little skyward,
like the hearts of children denied
a certain kind of love.

You played with spirits
when you were young among these fields.
You didn't know their names then.

I was one.
Even without a name, or body,
I watched your gaze, unrelenting to the things
that beat between the
two mirrors of the sky and plain.

I believe it was here also
that you learned to speak with God.
Not in so many words as you're now accustomed,
but I'm certain that God listened to your life
and gathered around your fire
for warmth and meaning.

In the deserted plains he found you set apart
from all things missing.

Dear spirit, I have held this vigil for so long,
tending fires whose purpose I have forgotten.
I think warmth was one.

Perhaps light was another.
Perhaps hope was the strongest of these.

If ever I find you around my fire,
built by hands that know your final skin,
between the sheets of the sky and plain,
I will remember its purpose.

In barren fields
that have long been deserted by the hand of man
I will remember.

In the deepest eye of you
I will remember.

In the longest night of you
I will remember.

On this, the shortest day of the year,
I have journeyed to the Great Plains
to build a fire for you.

By Wingmakers


Anonymous said...

Such beautiful posts, Geoffrey, thank you.
And a response:

The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter ~ Ezra Pound

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the lookout?
At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.
You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fo-Sa.

Wild Tracking said...

Many thanks for the lovely poem.