Shall I burn brightly:

The flight of a sparrow through

The fire-lit glory of the mead-halls

from darkness to darkness

With that brief passage

of brilliant light and heat?

Or shall I burn soft and subdued,

the banked peat fire through

long winter night of huddled homes,

Giving only a little but for long time,

Staving off freezing snows

with meagre, measured warmth?

Shall my show be the splendour

Of the fireworks at New Year,

Shooting flames and colour

High into the midnight sky?

Or shall it be the dim glow

Of the dark lantern,

Concealed and saved

For when it might be needed?

Shall I be the sparkler in the cocktail

Spitting white-hot stars

And burning my words onto retinas

of many mind’s eyes?

Or yet a single lonely candle

Lit to draw a lost soul home,

Set in window and left to flicker

Where few if any will see?

Put me then to the test:

Set a match to me,

Watch me burning

And see how long I last.


One thought on “Burning

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