Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fireside Chat with the Devil

Fireside Chat with the Devil





The bite of the wine
distant and astringent
ashes that insulate 
under the tongue,
the bed of flames
a river of undulating fire
feeding on the rippled wood.

There’s a face in there, O
laughing heart, bright blue eyes orange lidded
sucking souls like the mad Eye of Sauron
outward up the inward fleche,
daring me to tango my intoxicated way
across that salient edge
between air and fuel.

There’s no out-staring
a log with a thousand eyes
bright sparks winking its entire
architecture up the chimney,
flying it ambitiously apart
to light the cold
blind stars.




January 2012






Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poet's Pub

51 comments:

  1. oh i have tried to out stare it...love looking into the fire...and like clouds there are things you see....the devil maybe....nice capture hedge...

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  2. "There’s no out-staring
    a log with a thousand eyes..."

    I can well understand how our ancestors saw the faces of demons in the flames.

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  3. I love those closing lines:
    'flying it ambitiously apart
    to light the cold
    blind stars.'

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  4. darn see I knew Kerry would quote the lines I was going to haha but I will repeat them "There’s no out-staring
    a log with a thousand eyes" - I find the eyes most compelling - they're the only real glimpse beyond what we have and can be particularly revealing - wonderfully put here - your word choice was very clever in that they differ in sounds and it lengthens the poem which I think gives it a slow-burn effect, most suited to the theme and content! nicely done!

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  5. I see what is imagined looking into that fire. It's easy to be mesmerized by the flames. I think I see why people would meditate by looking into flames. :) I really like how the sparks seems so alive the way you've put it in the last stanza.

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  6. Dear Hedgy: Very don't stare too long at the Eye of Sauron... The firelight does dance fantastic; mesmerizingly so!
    "outward up the inward fleche,"
    Poetic genius!

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  7. "daring me to tango my intoxicated way" has that effect on me as well. I'm rocking and feeling this one hedge.

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  8. Staring into the fire is a less ingratiating oracle than staring into a mirror -- perhaps because it sucks your meditations up the flue and out into the night. Leaving only char come the next morning. Great packed images here, -- "river of undulating fire," "tango my intoxicated way'/
    across that salient edge / between air and fuel" and "bright sparks winking its entire / architecture up the chimney." Too bad all that lifting light can't do a damn thing to warm up the gaze of them stars. Amen. - Brendan

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  9. Holy geekgasm! "Eye of Sauron!"

    Kerry already quoted my favorite lines, and they are beautiful.

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  10. Thanks, all. See you on the trail tonight.

    @MZ--I swear, there was one giant red-black coal that looked just like the Lidless Eye.

    @B: Like the old Loretta/Conway tune--"there's nothin cold as ashes after the far is gone..." Thanks for reading.

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  11. Oh my goodness, this is incredibly wonderful, to read, to visualize, to imagine. Yoiks! What a great start to 2012!

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  12. a log fire is just something magical...and depending on the state of our mind, we can see all kind of things in it.. loved what you saw..and love that you wove the mad Eye of Sauron in...

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  13. "There’s no out-staring
    a log with a thousand eyes"

    oh my, i have spent entire winters trying though.

    love, love, love this...

    perfect ending!

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  14. Ooh, eerie. No wonder fires are so mesmerizing. Eyes staring back at eyes. Great write.

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  15. Wow!! :)

    I don't know what else to say honestly!

    Happy 2012!!

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  16. Hedge, this is a really great testament to your skill. Every line is brilliant, in it's feel, sound and connection. What a great way to depict the scene. Even on another level, perhaps subconscious, but the lines slither together, as the devil may or may not be depicted as, depending on who you talk to. But great job. Thanks

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  17. We have a fireplace...imagine, in SW FL (where oranges will certainly freeze tonight!

    When I look into a fire, and it is telling me what a wonderful Peep I am--that is when I KNOW it is the Devil in there.

    You have your way with words, lady! thanks for the visit!

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  18. oh she has her way with words...twice.

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  19. Oh, I love it...there's something hypnotic about staring into a fire..'sucking souls like the mad Eye of Sauron' ..brilliant! :)

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  20. amazing what can be seen in the fire

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  21. I liked the last stanza best. You could even cut the rest if you wanted; it stands alone well.

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  22. Ahhh the woman with the log (Twin Peaks geek alert!)...you Know my face lit up when i read the title...and then ... what a great meditation on that most intoxicating element.
    you capture the mystery and of course the poetry of the majestic combustion... i can see the glimmer and dance reflected in your eyes as you compose this excellent piece. cheers hedge HNY!!!!

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  23. @Arron: Glad you liked--my son is the Twin Peaks geek in the family, but I looked up these words of the Log Lady just to convey my thanks: "When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy." Damn straight.

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  24. Reminds me to have hubby pick up a log on the way home tonight.

    This poem is so... so... YOU! And I love that!

    xo

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  25. Flames creating a thousand eyes...cold blind stars. What a great amalgamation of contrasting imagery. I'll never look at the fireplace the same way again. Very nice poem here.

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  26. I have fallen under this spell more times than I count! And there is no winning for us mere mortals! Fantastic, as it always is Joy...but this speaks especially strongly to me...Fire Gazer addict here, and when you add the smell of wood smoke...I'm toast!

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  27. I especially like the first two lines of that last stanza. Another good line, one of many, is "tango my intoxicated way": lots of wonderful visuals.

    Wishing you the very best in the new year!

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  28. Ah... the mesmerizing, almost hypnotizing fire... I can see how our mind dreams up those images. Great capture... love the surprise ending.

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  29. Joy, the angels and the demons that can be seen in the burning fire. I love this and can relate to it. Especially me and my overactive imagination.

    Happy new year to you, may it bring you all the best there is to offer.

    Pamela

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  30. Living down in Florida I miss the fireplaces I had up north.. sometimes I would see entire plays acted out in those flames..
    this was a great read..
    Lynne

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  31. I think I saw the face of mad Sauron in the fire picture. Great piece Hedge.

    Happy New Year to you~

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  32. You've made it clear that I need to allot more of my road trip to reading your poetry, darn you and your magnificent gift! The imagery is spot on but it's the underlying structure and thought that always creates my jaw drop moment in response to your work. I am also woefully out of practice at commenting so I'll leave with I am profoundly moved by your work and always leave wanting to read more.

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  33. as though the flames are licking the logs. hypnotic! great imagery.

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  34. Ooh, this is wonderful. Universal, particular, original, age-old. Pretty cool (hot.) K.

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  35. What a surprise, this revelation. The flames sending light back to light the cold blind stars. Chilling, really. I feel turned upside down, just like that.

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  36. "daring me to tango my intoxicated way
    across that salient edge
    between air and fuel"

    Oh, let's dance with fire, shall we? Incredible poetry.

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  37. devilish piece. LOL
    rich in allusion and image.
    the next time I strike up my fireplace…I'll probably think of this poem. Thank you.
    very nice write.

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  38. THIS POEM ROCKS

    "sucking souls like the mad Eye of Sauron
    outward up the inward fleche,
    daring me to tango my intoxicated way
    across that salient edge
    between air and fuel."

    WOW.

    This is awesome. #Thatisall.

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  39. There’s a face in there, O
    laughing heart, bright blue eyes orange lidded
    sucking souls like the mad Eye of Sauron

    Wouldn't have understood that if I hadn't seen LOTR just last week (All three and now I will try the books)

    cold blind stars... I have never thought of them that way before.

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  40. aah ... a rich hypnotic, profound poem ... amazing.

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  42. Such a fabulous activity - staring into a fire and watching what the flames and the coals have to say.

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  43. There's nothing like a crackling fire to take you out of yourself!

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  44. you do a good job of capturing a dynamic darkness here.
    happy new year:)

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  45. Never knew he was a blue-eyed devil! But perhaps in your experience they always are?!?

    Fire and your musings about it are intriguing. Do you think it must burn, or are firewalkers, fire swallowers and others who dance through or jump through flames onto some mystery not known to all?

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  46. Wonderful - such richness in fire :)

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  47. You know, I've too much politics on the brain for I read the title and thought that was where you were going..ha! So glad you stuck to your witchy, earthy ways and allowed me to play in the fire a bit. The whole read is wonderful, though, I've a penchant for the second stanza the best, esp..

    daring me to tango my intoxicated way
    across that salient edge
    between air and fuel

    yes, please, I've felt that calling...quite intoxicating, indeed ~

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  48. This is elemental from beginning to end, but perhaps this is the heart of the matter for me:

    outward up the inward fleche,
    daring me to tango my intoxicated way
    across that salient edge
    between air and fuel.


    Beautiful poetry..and a great pic. Wow.

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  49. "that salient edge": what a finely-flung slice of words.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg