Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Flame

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

Sometimes you have to pour out the melted wax,
or it will drown the flame.


One winter night when I was twelve,
my father started a fire in the fireplace.
Just as the flames began to rise,
a large, hairy wolf spider emerged
from under the bark of one of the logs.
I squealed, afraid for its life and
grabbed for crumbled newspaper and kindling
in the hope of urging it to me.

Instead, it ran through the fire, its two back legs
igniting, dragging, singed and paralyzed.
I screamed, unable to stand the pain.
And, then, mercy took it all at once,

and left me wailing.


I’ve lost count of the campfires I’ve known, and
the bonfires too. And, forgotten the names of most
of faces that were there, circled, in the 
captivating flicker of light.

Not so long ago, our kinship would have
been a matter of survival, and the stories that
arose, like smoke, would have been our bloodlines.



Greek: salamandra

Fire lizard

Spotted salamanders will crawl through the snow to mate
and place opaque egg masses on plant stalks in the shallows
of temporary ponds.



We put many things into the flames –

to heat our bodies
to nourish our bodies
to free our souls...

To kill the projections of our fear.


The phoenix arises from the ashes.
But, not just any ashes: the ashes of its predecessor.

Manifestation is not possible without destruction.
Destruction is not possible without manifestation.


Ask a prairie what it knows of fire
and it will answer you
with flowers and grasses
and gratitude for your question.

Thank you for taking the time to notice
what brings it alive.


What do I know of lovers and candlelight?


Sitting here with this flame,
on this night,

I know that I can love this world.


Pour the wax slowly.

(c) 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Winter: Reflections by Snowlight"
Published by Hiraeth Press 

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