Fire Lighting                                                                                                    

Carefully I rummaged through the papers;

feeling for those of coarser grain, the smooth

and glossy periodicals

I rejected, and scrumpled up the rest

to start my humble flame.


My roosting doves lay cradled in the grate;

hunched in their iron nest by twigs and coal.

I fired their clipped wings, saw them stretch

out, then reach with feathered fingers

to start a downy flame.


The heat roared out and yet the chill remained;

from this I learned the real firelighters' art,

how they reach down a long handed

tinder, to kindle that older,

and more primeval flame.