Once set and lit a fire is free, 

it burns however it wishes untamed,

the defiance of steel blue

sedition of callous green,

the delinquency of sharp orange

and the assassin’s tongue red,

the flames writhe tortured

in their wanton destructive spectrum.

A wind might seek to move its will

to bear its heart a certain path

but the fire’s business of burning, 

of charring, gnawing and consuming

is its own, unchallenged.

A fire’s life is short

a one-way battle to ash, where

death is inevitable,

a long, degraded death.

Be sure that life

rekindled from the embers

will be a new fire

not a reincarnation of the old




© Graham Sherwood 05/2019


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Jason Bayliss

Sat 18th May 2019 17:22

Yep, I'd have to agree, beautifully written, and full of metaphor, and really nicely expresses rebirth in the ashes of new life, of transition between old and new. Love it.

J. 😀

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 18th May 2019 16:57

Lines that bring to mind the theme of Binyon's "The Burning of the Leaves" - and that is no mean feat!
Fire - like love - needs to be fed and its power can be both destructive and the source of re-birth. No wonder they have their
power to inspire our thoughts in this way.

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Graham Sherwood

Fri 17th May 2019 00:16

Thank you all for reading and thank you Ray for your keen eye.



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Thu 16th May 2019 23:28

Interestingly Graham, a fire has a sort of life, though death comes from it. Its ability to cleanse was premeditated in witch burning, incomprehensible as that is to us today. This is a powerful tribute to the flame. Might I suggest a tiny tweak? to omit the second but before "a fire's life is short." I think it's repetition weakens the verse. I seldom offer any such advice, but I know you are often keen to make improvements when you like a poem, as I indeed do yours.!


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Lisa C Bassignani

Wed 15th May 2019 21:19

Fire is the most amazing and destructive force. I have lost everything to fire and know others who have as well, in the real and metaphorical sense.
Love this Graham

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keith jeffries

Wed 15th May 2019 18:46


This poem is a work of art, rich in descriptive quality and one which the reader can draw many parallels from. I have enjoyed it enormously

Thank you

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