Graham Stone

The Burning Glass

Ashen sticks,
Propped, burning in the glass,
Acrid smoke and splintered wood crackled orange in
The smothered heat,
As billowing curls of sharp and thickened smoulder
Crawled toward the roof.
Whilst splinters blackened, cinders flickered
And stinging eyes were forced to squint,
A squall of breath blown from flaking lips
Stirred the sleeping fire
In a scatter of spent tinder,
About the soiled prism.
A wrinkled hand with muddied nails
Struck a match against its box
And watched, through rough,
Reddened, and watered eyes,
As the brilliant snaps of sparks birthed another flame.
With idle gesture and sparse regard
The hand pitched the splint spiralled through the air
And the flame-encumbered wood flickered and faltered
And fell flailing, into the in the burning glass,
Its impact softened by the flaking ash.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 22, 2011

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Rudyard Kipling


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