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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: A smile while rome burns
By Keith Wallis
10/09/06


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A smile while rome burns.

Arsonist of life.
Smelling of slightly singed reality,
changed perspective, and a reluctance for truth,
he chars and mars with tainting glance
and a marked tendency for pretending proof.
Fight fire with fire
burn and turn and rearrange
all things to suit the moment.
Stand and stare at the spark and crackle
crisping sear of flamed verity
a wanton blaze drawing breath from debris
into bright destruction.

Arsonist of life.
Demon, stealer of archived memories.
Creator of smoke damaged recollections,
blisterer of snapshot cherished moments,
purgatorial purger of peace.
There is no safe place
from which to view your handiwork,
no secure distance of sanctuary.
This is your volcanic stamping ground,
your footprint the blackened scorch
dust and ash and embered pathway;
your prey the tinder-dry present.

You cannot steal my smile,
the fire-fighter stands by my side
offering me the protective suit
a helmet
and shelter
as He sweeps the fuel from before your gaze
with His refining rage.


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This article has been read 586 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 10/13/06
I'd love to brighten your day with an intelligent critique or comment; but I would only be broadcasting my own ignorance. (which I am obviously doing now) There are many who write Free Verse...and will understand every word, and appreciate your deep thoughts; but I've never been able to get the hang of it. Sorry, not YOUR fault, but mine. Keep on doing your thing! Kudos!...and God Bless.
david grant10/13/06
A fine sweeping free verse challenge to the enemy of our souls. I like it! One of Dave's Favs this week.
Linda Watson Owen10/14/06
Skillful use of word sounds here! Love the lyrical quality in this free verse! And yes, you're right on topic too! Great job!
dub W10/17/06
Good use of sounds and visualization. I am not sure of the structure, the first stanza almost worked into a sonnet - I think with some combinations and measuring you might pull that off - just a suggestion.