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The Eternal Flame

Two stones banged together 
To create a misplaced spark
Forget about the weather
Never mind the dark
Harnessing that fire
Gave Neanderthals a thrill
They could build a funeral pyre
And keep out the Ice Age chill

Down countless generations 
The flame remained intact
As in various locations 
Wood was splintered, split and stacked
By Maasai on the Kenyan Plains
In Uluru’s mystic glow
Cossacks on trans-Siberian trains
Burned braziers on the go

Modern cave men take their pleasure
in the aisles of B&Q
Seeking out a life of leisure
And a Webber barbecue
Or a heater forged in heavy steel
For lower temperature conditions
Which combines its radiant warming feel

With CO2 emissions

The impact on the ozone layer
Really is no joke

As every would-be arsonist 
Lights up and starts to smoke
With tartan rugs and fleeces
The evening’s plans are laid
In the event of gas releases
Someone call the Fire Brigade

Under teepees and gazebos
Acolytes gather through the night
For the charcoal fuelled placebos
Of fire pits burning bright
By the open grills stand soldiers 
Armed with skewers, knives and tongs
Laughing loudly, getting bolder
Shuffling sausages along 

Spare ribs bought at Tesco
Marinaded chops
Wagyu fillets seared al fresco
Hear the sizzles, cracks and pops
As the atmosphere gets thicker
Through fat scented fog
Is the planet getting sicker?
Just chuck on another log

And the ultimate ambition 
for our new Cro-Magnon man?
He’s on a pyrotechnic mission
Defying any smokeless ban
Hades calls, Valhalla beckons
With belly pork and chicken thighs
Gas or charcoal, what d’you reckon?
Safety goggles mask his eyes

The gazebo walls start sagging
Our host looks less than svelte
His spirits now are flagging
As the polyester melts
Belatedly he remembers 
The extinguisher, what a shame
It’s too late to douse the embers
Of the eternal flame. 




humoursatiresocial satiresummersuburbia

◄ Ode to Lemon Meringue Pie

Bungalow Dreaming ►


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R A Porter

Tue 23rd Apr 2024 15:48

Thank you Auracle & Mike for your kind, supportive words - Write Out Loud is such a great forum for lovers of words and wordplay.

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Mike Horsfall

Sat 20th Apr 2024 23:43

Great read, as SA said, love the flow

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Sat 20th Apr 2024 20:19

I think it's quite epic.

If we've made it this far as humans, we surely must come up with solutions for the problems plaguing our planet.

And please don't feel guilty for meating and meat-eating. It's also the joy-of-living.

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R A Porter

Fri 19th Apr 2024 23:00

Thanks Stephen, flame retardant overalls are de rigeur for any barbecue related activity. I’ll look up the Smith & Jones sketch. Stay Safe!

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 19th Apr 2024 08:38

This is brilliantly written, RA. We have one but only use it if we can rent some fireproof overalls. Just what you need in 35 degree heat.
Do you remember an old Smith and Jones 'Home-made video' sketch called Bar-B-Q?

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R A Porter

Thu 18th Apr 2024 22:39

Yes John, what are we like? Pyromania runs deep. Tragically there are fewer places I’d rather be on a sweet summer’s evening than standing by my own Webber barbecue with my headphones on listening to some poetry stuff or a sports commentary, shuffling my wife’s home made burgers around, glancing up to smile at her through the kitchen window every so often and watching the bats. Bliss, but guilty bliss.

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John Coopey

Thu 18th Apr 2024 15:55

It’s a Man Thing.
Having said that, I watched my neighbour trying to make a fire and thought “If anyone was ever made for the 21st century it was you!”

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R A Porter

Thu 18th Apr 2024 14:38

Thanks Stephen, maybe a month early, but we know the season of CO2 & Sizzle will soon be upon us!

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Stephen Atkinson

Wed 17th Apr 2024 22:59

Clever, witty & wonderful flow. Top marks again, R.A. 👏

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