Reflecting on My Metaphor

i am a typewriter and someone else is pressing the keys

i am a match that won’t light

i am yarn, frayed and unraveling

i am glue that never dries

i am words written backwards

i am a stone that can’t skip

i am lukewarm coffee

i am a pen out of ink

i am an empty spool of thread

i am a threadbare sweater

i am a left sock without a right

i am a flower, always wilting

i am written in an unspoken language

i am all consonants and no vowels

i am a broken vase, not yet mended with gold

i am a butterfly with broken wings

i am an owl without voice

i am loaded scales with no counter weights


“Spreading like wildfire”
becomes literal
when you live here.
As the fire starts
the smoke is light colored,
almost white, mingled
with the palest orange.
As it progresses,
you pray it stays these colors.
Light grey is even fine,
but when it tilts toward black,
your breath catches
in your irritated throat.
Black means it’s burning
hotter, more intensely,
perhaps even
that the first threatened structures
have been engulfed.
Consumed and lost,
preservation out of reach,
in spite of best efforts.

Fire Season

Is it wrong
that I love the smell
of wildfires?
And the orange
the sun turns
as the smoke covers it,
or the way the ashes
float beautifully down
as if dancing.
I know just miles away
damage and destruction
are spreading fiercely
and I know in the months to come
people will still be
putting their lives back in order.
Yet, I want to stare
and savor and remember.
I hate fire season,
but every danger
has a side to be appreciated.

More Fire

What would Jesus do?
I don’t ask myself often enough,
but I did today.
A young man, anxious,
just wanted to smoke a cigarette.
I told him I had no lighter.
“I don’t smoke.”
“That’s good,” he said.
He said his friend
was trying to buy one now.
His friend’s card got declined.
I let him use my phone
to check his balance – $0.

What would Jesus do?
He’d give these guys a couple bucks
to buy a lighter to smoke that cigarette.
I open my wallet
buy I hesitate.
They never asked me for a cent,
just wished me a good day
and left without anything
to spark a flame.