Fire and Forethought

He came to me in a dream,
pushing back the darkness,
a coal flickering in a fennel-stalk.

The fennel-scent surrounded me,
like entering a house where food
has simmered the whole day.

Suddenly, the flame was mine,
and I was roasting vegetables,
basting them with olive oil.

Those scents surrounded me,
as he stepped forward, touching
my hands and then my forehead.

Then the fire was within me,
and I found myself at a desk,
writing poems based on myths.

Before he could turn away,
I touched my forehead and
opened my palms to him.

I bowed in gratitude
for his gifts, the many flames,
and he nodded in reply.

As he walked from my dream,
the darkness tried to return,
but I held it back with my fire.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to prompt #60, burning passion, at Poetic Bloomings.

It is my first attempt at a triversen, a form I learned about from Brenda Warren at her blog, undercaws, with her poem, “Exiting Nests”. She pointed me to dVerse, which had an article on the triversen form.

8 thoughts on “Fire and Forethought

  1. Richard, this is fabulous. The form suits your writing. I love the way heat (coal..flame.. fire) plays out in your poem. “,,,,a coal flickering in a fennel stalk.” is lovely. The light alliteration, and an interesting image…wow! And then…when the flame becomes yours and finally “…I hold it back with my fire.” This is darn fine writing. If you try out the form again, let me know. I LOVE this piece, and I love that the form helped you frame it.


    • Brenda, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. I like this form very much – and it does suit the way I write. As soon as I began reading the articled on it at dVerse, I was hooked. Thank you so much for introducing me to it. I’m sure I will be writing more of them. It really did help me frame the structure of this poem.



  2. Richard – “Pushing back the darkness” … truly there is no greater gift that one can be given. I hope you do not mind me telling you that this poem has been on my mind all day. It has been a much needed and perfect little blessing.


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