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Tuesday 23 November 2010

Fire on Earth

Fire on Earth

Peerless they are among the fire sticks of the sky
and totally without peers on the earth, where fire
does not exist - and never has - as they well know.
Too young though and too playful for their roles
both as ambassadors on earth
and members of the sky's haut monde.

The younger firestick kicks his brother on the shins
and skips away, his brother in pursuit,
both calling names, their laughter like the water in the brook.
Flip-flopping high above a thorn bush
they disappear in hummock grass, to reappear
their roles reversed, the younger giving chase,
becoming though, more breathless with each step.
Azoombo turns and makes to cross a ridge,
but finds the lighter and more nimble Zimber
gaining, so he hides among the branches of a tall
Acacia tree and waits to see Azoombo go below.
He drops upon him like a fall of stones.
They roll together on the ridge, and ever closer to the edge -
then over it, and sliding down the steep slope on the scree
creating sparks and shooting flames that when they reach the grass
become a conflagration such as earth has never seen.
In no time it engulfs the flat, the hollows and the hills beyond.

The owners of the firesticks, brothers also,
hunters from the famished world of sky,
have come to earth in search of food. They see the fire
from far beyond the hills and know that earth
does not possess the gift and threat of it. They hurry back
to where they'd left their firesticks in their kit
and scoop them up, returning post haste to the sky.

Tribes people wandering the flats beyond the hills
now see the flames and even from that distance feel their heat
and realize that here is something they can use.
They pull brands from the burning and return with them
to light small fires in every village home.
And so it is that earth is now a place of fire.

This week's prompt from Writers' Island is the one word peerless. For me it clicked with my poem Aspects of Creation after which I mentioned that I might try to write a series of poems on The myths of the Aborigines. This may - or may not - be the first in that series.


Gerry Snape said...

lovely lovely flow to those lines and what a great story line as well. Thankyou .

Unknown said...

I'm not familiar with Aboriginal myths, Dave, so this has a magic of its own.

Louise said...

Yes indeed a lovely flow to the lines, with a truely engaging story that keeps you completely held right until the very end. I love all the magic and freedom of writing in a mythical form where the imagination can soar without constraint.

Windsmoke. said...

Flowed along nicely right to the end, would this story be about lightning creating firesticks?.

Cloudia said...

Prolific Sir!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



Dave King said...

And thank you. Good to get the feedback.

I got interested in them after reading the novel The Song Lines. Facinating, in a way that I don't find other myths to be.

120 Socks
I totally relate to your last sentence and thank you for the preceding compliments.

No, it came from the firesticks themselves as they rubbed against each other and struck sparks from the stones.

Don't expect me to keep it up, though!

Kathe W. said...

Magical tale well told.
Thanks for visitng my blog and leaving such nice comments.

Anonymous said...

Fun story of fire! very cool idea.