Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blue Flame

At Mid Week Motif, Susan set us the challenge to write about bonfires. My thoughts went in two directions for this prompt. Susan included a quote by Francois le Duc de la Rochefoucauld:

“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones,  as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire."

Winter afternoons,
in Grandma's peaceful, tiny living room,
she would smile at me,
small wayfarer in a turbulent world.

Come sit by me, she'd say. I'll light the fire,
and we can watch the fairies
dancing in blue flames.

Those flames burn brightly in my memory,
these days when
my grandma's face stares back at me
in the mirror,
and I say to my great-grandson,
Come sit by me
and we can watch the fairies dancing
in the flames.

My second thought was how, in long-gone times in Ireland, villager elders would light a huge fire on the common, and people would carry hot coals from the communal fire to light their own hearth fires.

To a communal source, 
one by one we come,
day after day,
gathering sparks from the screen
with which
to light, inspire 
and elevate our way,
and keep the ghosts
of loneliness
at bay.

There. I think I'm done.  The second one I dedicate to you, my blogger friends, with thanks.


  1. i love your wintery stroll down memory lane with your grandmother. i can almost see you two sitting there, telling stories.

    i also find your communal description of the irish to be quite enigmatic...i think i'd really enjoy it...given i didn't have to carry those hot coals home in my hands...ha. :)

  2. The firstone brought a huge smile and a little tear--for your bonfire of LOVE! And the second, again, brought a smile for the surprise andmagesty of seeing Poets United as a bonfire from which we can ignite our souls. O, Sherry, you are such a fine writer! Here on your blog is a major bonfire.

  3. Both of these are wonderful. Hope the light fairies surround you always. And thanks for that second poem. I appreciate this community immensely.

  4. I enjoyed both of these -- a wonderful bonding memory and circle between your grandmother and you / you and your grandchild. Thank you for sharing!

  5. smiles...i can relate...there was a fire at grammas house...and we used to spend sundays was her 92 birthday yesterday...she is my last grand...i look forward to having dinner with her this weekend...

  6. The sadness with grandparents particular grandmas is the questions you want to ask them now they have gone. They loved their grandchildren and you felt it and now yearn for those unspoken words

  7. There is something wonderful about sitting and watching the dancing flames; and if one would have memories of doing this with one's grandmother how wonderful this would be. And cool that you are now doing this with a great grandson!

  8. The first poem is a tender one. That will be handed from one generation to another. If only my camera can capture what's in my head while reading your first poem.

    Thanks for the second poem too. I guess Poets United is my muse for the time being :)

  9. Such a fantastic poems! Feeling of coziness and love in first and the image of our PU bonfire - so unique, special for each of us. Thank you, Sherry! Hope you feel better :)xx

  10. I think these grandmothers and their tales of wonder make poets.

  11. Both are magical word blankets Sherry..a sheer spark that can't help but leave you feeling warm

  12. I'm warming my soul from the bonfire of your words Sherry...

  13. I just had a few moments with my grandmother as I was looking at her old 100 year old pictures. Such rich memories they left with us and they were strong women.
    I love the symbolism in the communal fire and there is a practical aspect as well.

    Poets Unite
    use your words to light the way
    fires are bright

  14. I love the words your grandmother said to you. This is such a heart-warming poem, Sherry.

  15. as a child I was fascinated by mythical, fantastical beings like fairies, mermaids, elves, etc. and your poem just takes me back to the me who loved reading books about them and watching cartoons that show them while my grandparents were talking nearby with my mom. those were the good ol days. :D

  16. I remember watching the flames in the fireplace with my grandmother, too, Sherry. But I only very faintly remember the story of the communal fire. How beautiful that must have been, to warm heart and hearth at the same time.
    Luv, K

  17. I keep seeing my father's face in the mirror. maybe that's why i'm sporting facial hair now... a disguise ~


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