and smoke and smolder

he came
for a drink

not really so very much
to seek


orange juice

even water
in a glass
if it came to it

any store
on the street
could surely
have obliged him

one by one
slightly ahead of him
as he walked
they each shut their doors

drew the shutters

his thirst
remained un-quenched
as he slowly flamed
a path
down Main Street

something about him
made good people
and the heat he raised
did not assist the impression
they formed of him

it’s hard to help
a man
so much on fire
without yourself
becoming burned

as he walked
in a kind of stagger
smoldering footprints
continued to burn around the edges
highlighting the way that he had come
into the town

three curious boys gathered around
to examine one
poking at it
with a stick
though they remained
well behind the man
and his hotter
more recent steps

it was a small child
in the end
a young girl
who ran out
in front of him
to place a glass
of water into his path

and while the town
he paused

leaned over
to pick up the glass

to drink
the clear
cool vitae
of fresh water

he bent towards it
and collapsed
into grey ash

and smoke
and smolder


Poem #334 from a series of poems drawn from the imagination and collected as: a Bachelard reverie.

Back to Bachelard and me – Introduction

9 thoughts on “and smoke and smolder

  1. Hi Frank. When you post on Fandango’s prompt do your pingbacks show up right away or is there a delay? I never seem to pingback and comments are closed. I usually send them to “contact me” and they usually but not always show up. I’ve inquired from Fandango, but never hear back so thought I’d consult with another follower of the prompt. If this is just normal, I’ll stop worrying.. Enjoyed your poem. Judy


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