The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Heartbreaker, Arsonist, or Metaphor for Writing?

Everyone is just a heart surrounded by tinder, waiting for the perfect flame to come along and set fire to them, so they have someone to burn for. Fires do not start by themselves, you need a flame, and something to light. The fastest fire to ignite is that of the heart, the hearth.

Some tinder is too dry and flaky, this tinder burns hot and often. It catches for any fire that gets near, a white hot blaze ensues that only lasts a short time and brands the flesh of the soft, meaty organ that it surrounds. These flaky people get burnt very often, the fire feels good for a minute, but then the flame dies out and leaves with your favorite Led Zeppelin t-shirt. They often end up settling down with the person that had the fire that lasted the longest, toasted and broken.

Some tinder is volatile and gets set alight by a the heat of someone not trying to ignite them. They touch a “hot” person for just a second and the fire rages out of control and consumes them.  These volatile characters burn alive in an inferno of infatuation, right in front of their clueless torch, this fire is all they know, and all they will soon remember. They eventually see their arsonist ignite another persons kindling, and get lit back; destroyed, unsure of what to do with this fire that still burns, they usually end up as a pile of ash, splintered and ashamed, stomped out by themselves.

Some tinder is just right, neatly wrapped around the heart, perfectly dry and ready for it’s flame. This flame comes, it lights them, they smolder for a lifetime, with a happy, heated heart. These two flames live together for life, as everybody else’s parents, watching their fires slowly dwindle and die down, peacefully succumbing to the wind. These bundles are few and far between, outliers, often dealing with the previous two types of tinder.

My tinder is none of those, my young tinder is damp, it wants to light, fires are thrown at it, but it refuses to take any. My tinder is soiled by the rain, flooded and soggy. No matter how much I want it to light for this fire or that fire, it just sits there. Maybe I need to hire a Bear Grylls type to show me how to start a fire with nothing, but I’ve always heard those shows are shams. Tinder takes a long time to dry, you need space and time and a little sunshine, but Washington has a lot more rain than sun.

All tinder is flammable, all tinder can be just right, it just comes down to finding the right flame. The cold truth is that most people never find the right fire, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there.

Always remember: it’s a lot easier to start fires than to put them out.

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2013 by in COMMENTARY.

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