Bonfire

 

That night, we dragged our rickety auditorium

Of folded chairs beside the rickety pyre,

Like a bunch of daft old bastards by the prom:

As evening set in like a creeping sort of mood

Despite ourselves, we got the fire going.

We’d dragged logs like dead men’s bones to the heap.

I’d brought sweetened whiskey, its harsh delicious kiss

To keep the heart’s hearth burning as cold set in.

And in any case, in whiskey there is wisdom:

We got the match, snapped it to fierce attention,

Dropped it down like a statement of truth.

First, one trickle, a finger of smoke curled up;

Then soon, more like a genie emerging, unfurling;

Then soon a weather formation, a billowing thought-form

Egregore of collective wishing, the fire-smoke grew.

Flame-heat and booze-heat kept our faces glowing.

We cradled our bottles and crudely plucked off lids

With our teeth as we watched like leery old men

The half-naked dancers, obscene and licking flames,

Teasing and quivering flames which paraded before us,

Ogling with our bleary eyes true youth, in ripened fire.

The whiskey bottles danced reflections, even,

The very glass seemed to shiver and melt in the light.

We laughed at nothing, sang for no real reason,

Brash giddy flames were leading us astray:

We basked in its playful, unruly company.

 

Recent some dear friends of mine invited me around for a bonfire. The summer is losing grip of its reign over us; long nights are coming in, like the cold waters of the tide. So we made our own heat, our own summer, our own light for the evening. It was really rather nice. We drank a LOT of spirits. It was great. 

 

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