Poem: Setting Fire to My Life

Ah, the genesis of my leaving all that comfort for the unknown writer's life and what I thought it meant and perhaps what it actually did. Each poet writes a 'first' poem and this is mine.

Setting Fire to My Life

Setting fire to my life, the spark of discontent
flares a tinder of broken promises and dreams
A roaring blaze, consuming yesterday
throws all too little heat and not much light
Flames lick, shadows dance against the wall

It needed to burn out and settle down, this fire
Needed to fall in upon itself in showers of sparks,
turning much that’s gone to powdered ash
Floating up, to drift away in spirals on the breeze
Leaving just a hidden core of warm red coals

The embers will last, maybe until morning,
when new breath blows them softly into life
Feeding smaller twigs to a more modest blaze
Lower flames, more capable of heat and light
Enough, at least, to make the morning coffee

It’s come to that, the things I need to know
Strong coffee and the squint of morning sun
An honest taste and promise of another day
Reflections from inside myself and all outdoors
Learning who I am, how to love myself again

It’s taken far too long and too much pain
Shared by those who cared for me and lost
their friend and lover to a mindless pile
of things and stuff and heaps of promises
Now burned and blown away, well gone

There’s something here worthwhile to know
Reason to blow those embers into life again
Who can tell, when second chances come
if it’s really worth the cost of all the burning
But the gamble’s taken, setting fire to my life
Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection


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