Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tending the Fire

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to make a poem from the images of one of our dreams. I had several dreams with a recurring theme this past week: a fire under my desk in my office. I've taken the feelings I remember having in these dreams and tried to put them together in a stream-of-consciousness way. I shared one of these dreams with a friend of mine this week. Michelle, I left out the spider monkeys, but kept some of the anxiety.
If I could just put
Out the fire burning beneath
My desk I could go
With you to the big
Party and meet all of our
Old friends and show them
How well I’m doing
How thin and happy and loved
I really am and
How fulfilled I feel
In every corner of
My soul it’s just so
Persistent those tongues
Of flame crackling beneath
My office desk and
I—I just can’t seem
To put them out no matter
How many blankets
I throw to smother
It burns and burns and maybe
My important thoughts—
All my precious words
Will turn to ashes and all
Fall down so yes I
Know I am keeping
Everyone waiting and that
Today will never
Happen again I
Must stay and contend with
This troublesome fire
I can’t put it out
So I’ll fight to contain it
It’s the least and the
I can


  1. I like the dissonance between your title and your poem: tending the fire vs. fighting to contain it. Chronic and recurrent crises as the sacred flame, the inglenook, the holy hearth around which family life radiates. Nice!

  2. whoa! very ominous and sinister. I wonder who's waiting for you . . . .

  3. a smokin good one Erin...thanks for sharing

  4. I like the "spiral" effect, like flickering flames: "All my precious words/Will turn to ashes and all/Fall down..." Well done.

  5. I relate to this poem, big time. Wonderful images. xoxo

  6. Erin, I love the struggle for authenticity that I read here (or at least that's what I read into it). Beautiful!

  7. Oh my! The image of that burning desk will haunt me for awhile. "If I could just put out the fire beneath my desk, I could go..." Oh my! Wonderful poem, Erin.

  8. Despite the views out the window from this flying train, like an arrow it moves, straight and pure. And offered it seems within this scope, the integration of both dream to not-dream. Well done.

  9. "How thin and happy and loved I really am", loved that! Kinda lost you in the end, but appreciate the emotional intensity.