Staring deep into the flames
helped, otherwise it was a
forceful act of will not to blend the
sweet with the bitter,
dramatic with mundane,
richer or poorer,
better or worse.

Memories played tricks,
they forced him to be flexible
with emotions; each picture
he fed into the fire would push
the pleasant feelings away —
the cathartic energy of the
conflagration felt like the
quickening breath of his

With a match, kindling, a
small spark, he was able
to exchange guilt for
absolution, not a backward
glance as he walked away,
confident his blaze would
consume the house —
and all it contained.






Whew!?! That turned dark (Surprise!). Written for the Sunday Whirl wordle.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

5 responses to “Flames

  1. I kind of expected a dark tale and wasn’t disappointed 🙂 I prefer dark stories with twisted emotions and unclear endings…and call myself “Happy,” go figure…

  2. This is a strong, well executed piece, Mark. It’s interesting, the power of the match.

  3. Whoa! I didn’t see that ending coming. This is a topic that sits at the edge of my poetidc consciousness. I am mesmerised by flame.

  4. I didn’t expect that last stanza, but going back and reading again, there were hints of trouble in the first two. Great poem from those wordle words.


  5. magicalmysticalteacher

    I rather think this character has burned down more than one house!

    A Whirling Baker’s Half-Dozen

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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