Wednesday 9 March 2016

Westmeath Assault

A friend reminds me -Lighting fire is not always so easy to do
And we all have our different styles of doing it.
The adept can debate the relative efficiency of:
Rolled up newspaper versus scrunched up newspaper
Candle grease versus woodchip
Me, I usually throw in a half a packet of firelighters....

And anyway it's all in how you build it up, the gaps you leave, the gaps you fill, your understanding of the science of fire....

So here's another poem on lighting fires......

Westmeath Assault
for Aine

You swing your hips and swivel latches.
“This,” you explain, “is a damper.
It must be pulled out.”

With all the knowledge of Westmeath
you poke and pull and thrust, break firewood
with your feet, lay log upon log and watch.

The stove billows out grey wood-smoke.
Your nose dives beneath your smokescreen
of black polo-neck.

“This stove has no flue,” you announce.
“Or perhaps,” and you prod with chisel,
“it needs to be brushed out.”

You fling open windows and doors,
escape into the night air

and consult Orion.

First published in Speaking for Sceine Vol 11 2014 at the Kenmare Poetry Festival
Organised by Kenmare Arts Centre.
Check their website for exhibitions, events and competitions

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