The Mythology Of Scorched Earth

Last night
I dreamed
that there
in my hand
I had conjured
a gnome
in a red hat,
from a book
I’d read long ago. 
He began to spin
there on my palm 
and when he at last 
spun away it was as
a dervish born
in a handful
of fire.

Last night 
I remembered writing
this poem once before
when I was no more than
18.  Back then I thought 
I was something,
didn’t I — back then I thought
I too had been 
formed in a hand
to be a dervish
in a handful
of fire and that I had 
a fire hand of my own making
and I spawned poems in it,
fast red, and long burning hot,
and I spun them into the world
to ignite anything
other than myself, but still
I burned, almost, to ash.

I soak my wounds these days
in any running stream
I find
and think of how
I am no longer what I was,
am I — no dervish,
no wick, no kindling
in this poor hand,
and I am grateful
for how final and good
it feels to stop short of a full life
of poems romancing the mythology
of scorched earth.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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