Posts Tagged ‘fire’


We fan the embers

turning to flamingo flames

parsing the silence


like a blue-white star –

fire so hot there is no smoke,

just the melt of time.


Vermilion night,

soft sizzle of sparks afire –

it begins to rain.



©  2019  Betty Hayes Albright


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Where’s your dance, old tree?

The wind plays –

let’s see you sway,

I long to hear

your rustling green.


Did Autumn tighten up

your knots

and sap your limbs

too soon?


It seems that Pan

has left you,

tail tucked between his legs

when he saw the horizon

turning black

instead of blue.


And now I too must hurry off

to find my cave and pray

that dawn

will wring out the mourning

and wash the ash away.



(c) 1980, 2019  Betty Hayes Albright


This is an old one, revised. It was originally written in 1980, two months before Mount St. Helens erupted a hundred miles away from us. (A dear friend of mine died in the eruption, along with her husband and two children.)  I always assumed the poem was a premonition of that tragic event, but it seems to also fit in with current events on this dear old planet of ours.  (The original version was posted here in 2014.)


P.S. Once again I’m behind reading blogs. Will hopefully catch up with you all soon!


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My lungs are on fire,

my breath is smoke.

Help me, please help me!

I can see it falling —

the last straw.



(c)  2019  Betty Hayes Albright


As most of us know, the Amazon Rain Forest (often referred to as “the lungs of the earth”) is on fire. This great forest provides 1/5th of the earth’s oxygen – every 5th breath we take.  So far, the fires are out of control. I heard on the news that millions of animal species have perished. We need more than thoughts and prayers on this one….


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drawing3 1965


Broken words

soak in the cold brine

of memory,

soften in our hands

like cinnamon clay.

Let us carve new curves

fit for the touching,

ready for the fire.



© 1993, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright 


(Pencil drawing from 1965.)

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He steams her edges

and, like stamps

on a postcard


she curls in the heat

falling free from the corner

of mythology


to be saved

by the fire

in his hands.



(c) 1993, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post, revised)

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Each moment comes

a clean slate.

We write on it

with ink that burns us,

weep on it

with tears that boil,

toss it on a hickory stove

smearing ash

on pristine snow


but every second

rights itself

into a guiltless fire

that flares into

a longing grace

erasing clean

the errant flare

as we learn

to temper self

and kindle our own glow.



©  2012, 2018 Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post, revised)

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I am the water

you draw from your well

steep me

into your tea.


I am the slice of hot toast

on your plate

let me melt

your fresh apple butter.


I am the evergreen

on your morning walk

breathe me

into your shadow.


I am the eyes

meeting yours

in the marketplace

see my hunger.


I am the line

down the middle of your road

follow me

through the desert.


I am the match

that lights your winter fire

catch my sparks

in a jar.


I am the north star

in your fevered night

reach out to me, love

shine on me.



(c) 1995, 2017  Betty Hayes Albright


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She thought it was

the autumn sun

shining on the dogwood tree

but no

the leaves themselves

were flushed

defying the gray

with red-gold embers

self-lit in the gloom.

It was the spark

within the dead,

the nuances of yesterday,

the fire of life

banked against all odds.



(c) 2010, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright


(re-post, revised)


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Where do we hide

when Mother Nature

swings her fist

into the mesh

of continuity?

Who engineered these promises

we thought were tempered steel?

The shrapnel of reality

cuts through our paradigm

as we shield our eyes

from fire

and the collapse of illusion.

Where do we draw our water now?

How can we bake our bread?



(c) 1995, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright


Thoughts and prayers to those affected by hurricanes, fires, droughts, floods, violence, and other disasters of late. May the help they need so badly be forthcoming.

(Originally written for Kobe, Japan after their disastrous earthquake in 1995.)



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After the fire plays,

after he’s gone

she leaves her heart

in ashes

nestled on the bed

and slips outside

to bury time

in earth

where it belongs.


And sometimes

there’s a spark

when her trowel

hits a rock

and she smiles

at the thought

of that blazing

stand of man

and how she became

a goddess

when he touched her

with his flame.



(c) 1996, 2017 Betty Hayes Albright


(re-post from 2012, revised)

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