Thursday, March 18, 2010

Remembering Fire

In a Chelsea Gallery

A few months back, when I met Bradley thirty years late, he gently suggested I might want to write about the fires. I wasn't very happy with my first tries (and critiqued one of them here). This is a new attempt, and maybe begins to get at the things I want to get at...


Who found faded yellow,
brown box, jimmied
tin lid with spoon's end
taken from our new
kitchen; the old one
spit out this blackened
package of sugar chocolate
crying for milk, pink bunny
laughing though his ear
had been eaten by flames—
who started it I wonder, who
burned down linoleum-cracked
floor, table where sister choked
on peas like we are choking our
blond baby niece
with mealy brown powder
on a tongue crying
for milk, mama,

Self-Portrait at Chelsea Gallery, photo by L.L. Barkat.

HighCallingBlogs's Life on the Street
Laura’s I Am the Gate
Nancy’s Our Street
Melissa’s she, stirring
Eric’s Hidden Joy
Jim’s Parables
Susan’s No Fairy Tale
Glynn’s Hope, Blinking and Rues de Martyrs
nAncy’s a road
Dave’s On Quincy Street
Kathleen’s Dear Frankie
Maureen’s Reunions: Father
Marilee’s Laurel Hedge
LL's 56 Irving Place, Gramercy Park
Cindy’s Crossing at Kicker Road
Simple Country Girl’s Street Address: End of Dirt Road and Farm Door Beckons
Liz’s Highway 60
Prairie Chick’s One Country Mile
Linda’s The Farm on Buffalo Ridge
Claire’s Blikkie
Monica’s When He Lived on Horsefly Road
Susanne’s 716 El Rancho Drive
Emily's Stonybrook
Kelly's March on St. June
Missy K's West Washington

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Maureen said...

What a difference. So much I like about this poem.

It creates an intensity and immediacy that bring us onto the scene, seeing it, feeling it, understanding the loss. And that closing -- "crying for milk, mama, milk" (!) -- let me hear, too, in a way that can break the heart.

Only letting the emotions come up to the surface can produce something like this.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Monica Sharman said...

RAP link below. I ran out of steam by the end...

2:26 PM  
Blogger Linda Worden said...

My grandson and I started a blog for him within the past week. He's 11 and enjoys writing poetry and writing creatively. Take a peak at his entries if you have time.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Linda Worden said...

The new blog is
Random Writings...

2:47 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

See, this is a real poem. Wonderful to read, just wonderful. There are so many poets in our world, but few who can write like this. The closing out of the world, with its shoulds and its various sensibilities; the perfect snapshot not only of what is happening in one moment, but all the depths of emotion and texture and past time also. This poem tucks down underneath simplistic and pretty "telling" to expose the muscles and sinews and clots of blood real poems should have.

Very cool indeed.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

you keep me coming back. each time i find another image in the exact same line as before.

beautiful words that cry out ll.

my rap submission:

thank you for a very special trip down memory lane...

3:53 PM  
Blogger Linda Worden said...

Sharing a poem I just wrote about the farm where I lived from age 4 - 18. It is a place filled with many memories - most sweet with love and nurture.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

This is one I will have to read over and over to get every nugget. You have a wonderful gift my friend.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

Camel and you skipped the seven degrees of separation. Shivers.

It was good for me to read your first one and how you critiqued it. I saw it and felt the difference.

It is terrifying to write and live with my insides matching my outsides. But I'm starting to understand how provoking and compelling it is also.

This second poem had soot remains instantly felt and smelt.

Thanks for the whole package, tied with a charred ribbon. I learned TONS.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


This just gets me. Through.
I am so very grateful every time I glimpse your soul. How it touches mine.

Thank you, as always.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Each time I read "Remembering Fire," I think it is even more beautiful. Reading the story behind the lines helped. Some emotions can only be conveyed through the terse lines of poetry.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

Beautiful journey into that place where words carry us into magic.

Really really nice.


8:33 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I will participate next time. Looks like fun. Your words are beautiful.

The no reading for Lent thing was seriously intense. And, since doing it, I am much more picky about what I read. I have less tolerance for fluff and for bad writing.

10:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home