It was a yard work Saturday —
for the record, not really my
thing — shrubs trimmed, azaleas
cut back. Then it was time to build
the fire pit we have been discussing.

A hodgepodge of materials were used–
bricks, old pavers, concrete blocks —
all the leftovers pulled from under
the deck to build a multi-hued,
multi-level perimeter.

The Georgia red clay was opposed
to the project, hard enough to deflect
the shovel, interspersed with quartz
and wandering oak roots.

How deep of a hole is needed to prevent
the spread of flames fueled by dry
remnants of storm damage
and a season’s debris?

The steam of the shower confirms
muscle overuse, foreshadowing
stiffness and pain and a night
of wondering, but no sleep.

Tomorrow I will build a fire
and feed it collected rubbish,
waiting and hoping for a phoenix
to rise from the ashes.

Burning Leaves

Burning Leaves (Photo credit: armigeress)

At dVerse Fred asks for a self portrait using the literal
or metaphorical. I tried to incorporate both into a
single day.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

13 responses to “Ashes

  1. I liked the idea Mark–now I’m going out on a limb here but you said I could–building anything has a mythology to it, but building a fire pit has a vast connection to everything human. There are so many directions (pick one) to go in with it.I would suggest just as an exercise you make two lists. On the first put down all the social aspects of what fire means and building a pit, list anything that comes to mind. On the other list get more personal–anything in your life that ever had to do with fire, maybe camping with your father-I never did-but you get the idea. Then look at whgere the lists could possibly cross over. Screw the yardwork concentrate on building the pit. Anyway it just an idea. >KB

    • yeah, it was an idea that did not fully flush out. You are right, the yard work part distracts/detracts, focus should be on the fire pit. the idea was to pull various parts into a metaphor for the self portrait that was asked for. Some of it worked, but needs much work. Thanks for the input.

      • Mark, this is KB, I’m not hear to comment on your poetry but rather ask you if you might be interested in taking your involvment in your work to another step–It is not somethoing I would like to doscuss in this publiuc forum. If you are interested in discussing it please contact me at my email >KB

  2. hey i bet it was a good workout….that ground is def tough though….might want to drop a few aleve before bed so you dont wake up stiff…and phoenixes, they do come…the multilevel perimater sounds really cool…this is not just your run of mill firepit…

  3. That sounds like hard labour to me but, even though you ached you must have felt quite rewarded to see your efforts. Hope the Phoenix rises …soon 🙂

  4. jax

    Mark, I think this is fantastic! I love it … really, really love it. It’s all physical and literal, but there are emotional parallels … metaphors even. 🙂

    Stanzas 4 and 6 are my favorites. Excellent writing. Don’t doubt yourself.

  5. nicely done Mark. love the narrative story-telling aspect here, nice mix between literal and metaphor. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sounds like a productive and enjoyable Saturday. The self-portrait aspect passed me by until re-reading – but I am ever too literal minded. Missing apostrophe alert in stanza 4.

  7. mark, those last two stanza’s came alive for me… cool, how you took everyday living and made it into something special

  8. ladynimue

    This poem looks like the phoenix you might be talking of ! Liked the closing lines. effective.

  9. The phoenix you mention may reveal itself in a different way.. perhaps simply writing about it is enough? After all it is all about what you put into the project that day..

  10. I have good news and bad news. The good news is your fireplace will work wonderfully and you will be warm and happy. The bad news is about the phoenix – it has been a bad year for phoenixes…

  11. Shawna

    I love this: “The Georgia red clay was opposed to the project”

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

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