It was hiding itself amongst wet flannel leaves

given up by the ghost of the earlier year - a challenge I was willing to take,

the incinerator

like a dustbin with holes.

Last week I had burned free offers

lurid lies and half promises

all crated in with a stick

despatched with a match or two.


Now it was different.

Old skeletons of cuttings stuck straight up

hard pruned to brace the black interior.

It wouldn't have the match, even with paper,

became bored, smouldered and puffed

in its argumentative way,

but I stood my ground in multiple fleeces,

pull down hat (without bobble)


added paraffin for quick release

re-arranged the feast for the lick of penetration

like death revived until

a thin white smoke ascended.

Skirting the chimney blast,

I took on old rotting planks with stunted nail ends;

questioning my motives for storing them over years

to hack at them,

bag them,

dry them in the shed.


My wife stayed out of the fray,

visiting an aunt, out all day.

I gave her just the scant facts

without the details of sweat,

dirt, smell on the fleece.

She settled to late afternoon telly.

An inquest was not requested

not on this late November day.





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Fri 30th Nov 2018 10:38

Hi Martin. I've got an open framed incinerator and a dustbin one; the open one is more fun and gives more of a buzz, but I always take a hose there just in case! The smell doesn't go down well, but I don't mind it. More appealing than ciggy smoke I suppose. Thanks for enjoying!


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Martin Elder

Thu 29th Nov 2018 17:55

There is something deeply satisfying about burning garden rubbish and waste. It bit like a bonfire on bonfire night used to be like. I even like the residual smell of smoke that hangs on my clothes.Or maybe its just me.
Anyway marvellous poem Ray

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Wed 28th Nov 2018 21:16

Many thanks Beno for reading and enjoying. This was written on the same day, so it was fresh. I've got a couple of compost bins made up from planks; and I enjoy adding to them and digging them over - much wildlife. It's all just mucking about really!

Hannah, so pleased you came on with your ever descriptive thoughts !


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Hannah Collins

Wed 28th Nov 2018 19:56

Late November ritual.
In touch with the season, the earth.


<Deleted User> (18474)

Tue 27th Nov 2018 06:08

Nearly missed this one.
Enjoyable read.
Your descriptive powers are so good.
I felt that bone chill you get after a couple of hour in the garden. Those multiple fleeces weren't enough were they. You needed that fire.
Good one, your wife staying out of the way. 😂😂😂
May a recommended composting! 😂😂

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Mon 26th Nov 2018 15:13

Thanks to Jon, Darren and Anya for reading and liking!

Big Sal, I think the pleasure of a fire certainly goes way way back, even before nostalgia was invented ! Thanks.

I'm glad you thought so Taylor. Especially as it feels like a man's world!

Hi David. A thoughtful interpretation, and one which bears scrutiny. I was quite absorbed and challenged by the task, and reading it does make a comparison with that degradation you mention. I seriously wonder if that led to any PTSD - although perhaps a sense of relief or duty might have been uppermost.
I often think how inadequate are the trappings of funerals crematorium style and think an open fire would be far more civilized. That would of course require a much broader and more inquisitive mind at work. I love the phrase Fuehrer's carcase. Versatile I feel.

Thanks Kevin. As I implied to David, I was absorbed, but these things can trigger other thoughts. I was not deliberately aware on that level myself. I try to infuse my audio with a distinctive approach, thanks for liking that!

All the best to one and all.


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kJ Walker

Sun 25th Nov 2018 10:28

I liked this one (especially the audio).

If any metaphors were intended I missed them and just saw it as a poem about gardening.

Cheers Kevin

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Wolfgar Miere

Sat 24th Nov 2018 12:36

Lovely stuff Ray,

I love a good garden centred poem, although this hovers around much metaphor for me.

Somehow in the second verse I got pictures of German officers attempting to set light to the Fuhrer's carcass in the pit, strange how you managed that of me.

I wonder where you are subconsiously/subliminaly with this little gem, I only ponder so because it sounds like preperation to me, as if you are focused upon something futher down the line. You know how us old buggers get regarding the realisation of our mortality, especially when provoked by mother nature.

Great poem Ray,


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Taylor Crowshaw

Sat 24th Nov 2018 08:36

Read this twice Ray just wonderful. The imagery is outstanding. Thank you 😃

Big Sal

Sat 24th Nov 2018 01:09

Nostalgia incarnate.

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