Dormant Fire




The ancients believed the skies

Could be scried for secrets. Perhaps

Their astral lines were false.


But they may have found truths

In other substance,


That pagan belief that elemental fire

Lay dormant in material – wood, coal,

Books and men – there

Is truth in that.


Just as there is water in flowers,

Earth in mortal bones, and air

In every scent;


And that the aerial may rise

Whilst ash descends.


Yes, there is fire in books:

There is truth in that.



Stylistically simple poem, partially inspired by pagan concepts of the elements (the notion that fire, as a substance in itself, lies in flammable substances just waiting to be released in flame); and partially inspired by a growing anti-intellectualism here and overseas, denouncing anything theoretically inconvenient, to my mind, bordering on book-burning.


One thought on “Dormant Fire

  1. We both enjoy this one. Thanks for sending us poems. They are the most intellectual and emotional emails I receive. And stimulating and enjoyable. I always read them aloud several times. A wonderful way of communicating. Love from Gran

    Sent from my iPad


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