Fanning the still air, back and forth, back and forth, alchemist palming the blue fire of potential; it stifles me, this heat, blood clearly not meant for boiling. Tools line up like minions awaiting my grasp; mute, dumb things without which this half-acre garden cannot flourish. Energy wasted on cooling set aside now, I force myself up, even this small effort launching the drip, drip, dripping brow, maddening saltwater torture.

The willingness has ever been present, body along for the ride, exuberant at times and exhausted in turns, tasking piles of brush by the snow-blanketed shoreline, together or alone, barely allowing time to swish water down, much less anything more substantial. Small dry kindling, old newspaper, curls of birch bark placed under a criss-cross of dead limbs, impatience growing in my young heart, desiring only to begin chucking larger boughs and trunks into the conflagration, anxious to clear the lakeside trail before hordes of biting flies settle in for the season.

Flames arch high, reaching into the interstices between hemlock and fir, bough tips igniting, sizzling spirals twisting black and orange into a palette of soft grey sky punctuated only by giant plumes of charcoal white smoke. Fires lit and tended, I have only to work steadily at reducing mountains of brush to cinders and ash. Trudging through greasy slush now, lugging five-gallon buckets of water from crystal clear waters, dousing again and again. Nothing left to chance in this sixty-five acre stretch of forest, and in thirty years, no wildfires have ever been ignited by my hand. Romancing the flame.

Focus is strength; focus can do a person in. This ability has brought me to this point, this task, mountain of macnut husk awaiting wheelbarrow, becoming wetter and heavier by the day, ceaseless rains unabating. There is rhythm in its patter and it lulls me into a semi-trance. I bask in the downpour’s cooling effect and accept I will be soaked through to the skin all day long. Scarf tied loosely now around my perspiring forehead, I walk out into arcs of rainbows and intermittent showers.



The woods where it all went down, all those years ago ...
image: the woods with lake behind them where it all went down, many years ago …


14 thoughts on “Pyromancer

  1. Perhaps there are ways in which actions can be captured that can transcend merely words on a page. One of them is photography and I believe the other in in film. 🙂

  2. A pure pleasure to read, and so convincingly evocative, dear Bela. You’ve rendered words sensual, which I suppose is the writer’s task and skill, though few accomplish it. Most of my own written words remain deadening concepts, ordered this and that way, neatly enough perhaps; but you possess the art of conveying feeling within yours – I can rub the words between my thumb and forefinger and feel their texture, smell the scent they release, savour the taste if I linger. Many congratulations! H ❤

    1. Aloha Hariod, and abundant thanks for your kind praise. I disagree about your own word-ly import, however. And in this, I quote Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick, “I may make you feel, but I can’t make you think.” Your words, dear one, make me think and think deeply. And you are able to accomplish this while fleshing the body of writing out with a broad and beautiful use of the English language! Ahhh … to have maintained my grip on it from youth, onward … but alas, I moved here and there into corners of the world where I received plenty of dumbstruck looks and more than a little stinkeye, as if I was trying to put on airs. So I pared it down, and to this day, it’s challenging to recapture the fullness of what once came so naturally. Thus I work within a limited framework and elicit what beauty I might from it. Glad you can pick it up and rub it between your fingers. That image gives me great pleasure and satisfaction ❤

  3. A beautiful poem. and I see another has picked out the very same line which stood out for me..
    Focus is strength; focus can do a person in…. All depending on what we focus upon..
    I have been focusing upon creating
    May we all focused upon Unity and Creating a better future instead of division..

    Love and Blessings dear Bela xxx Sue ❤

    1. Glad you liked that line as well. I was pleased with how it flowed from my fingers 😉

      Unity would certainly be something for a long-divided humanity. I’m a first-person-account history buff because it demonstrates how the average person spent their days. Only the gentry had the education to learn to write, and the king or queen’s scribe wasn’t exactly going to go out and interview peasants who would be forthcoming enough to tell their life stories. Instead, these tales were handed down verbally from generation to generation, flowing onto someone else’s page for my eyes to behold. Not much has changed over the centuries in what motivates human beings, but we have far (FAR) less stress in our everyday lives in terms of surviving. With this excess time on our hands, surely we can make better choices to better care for the planet and one another. It’s possible, I’m just not sure enough have that desire. But you do, dear woman, and I bless you for it. Peace ❤

      1. Yes Bela you have made some valid points.. And I value these stories of word of mouth much more I feel than often those whose gentry would record only what they wanted recording.. Much like many great works lots of omissions and twisted meanings turned to the advantage of those who wanted to rule and control.. 😉
        I am thankful now for that time on my hands.. And enjoy my time creating be it in the garden, or within my crafts. This is where I find the most Peace..
        Love to you Bela.. and have a Peaceful Sunday ❤

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