LOOKING INTO THE FIRE by Barrie Purnell


Barrie’s piece on the Fire trigger

LOOKING INTO THE FIRE by Barrie Purnell

 When I look in the fire I see flickering traces

Of forgotten faces and faraway places

But who is it I see is it an enemy

Seeking indemnity from previous duplicity?

Or buried family

Reminding me?

Barrie's fire 

When I look in the fire I see the Second World War

Did Dresden settle the score for what went before?

The London blitz, Coventry, Auschwitz

Victory it will assist the air marshal insists

Do you think god acquits

All hypocrites?

 

When I look in the fire I see Hiroshima in flames

Did you feel any shame? Who was to blame?

Killers flew high in the Japanese sky

Do they ask why? Do they cry?

As thousands die

American Samurai

 

When I look in the fire I see Joan of Arc at the stake

She fought for Christ’s sake that was her mistake

Her battle was won in the town of Orleans

But she was undone by the bishop Cauchon

Burnt in Rouen

Only nineteen years gone

 

When I look in the fire I see a Guy Fawkes bonfire

The flames going higher on his funeral pyre

Gunpowder plot was mooted Guy Fawkes was recruited

Catholics persecuted thirteen executed

Bonfires instituted

Fireworks distributed

 

When I look in the fire I see a million suns

Born when there were none now dying one by one

Making me think of infinity the Holy Trinity

Of earth’s fragility the laws of relativity

Sun’s nuclear activity

Sustaining humanity

 

When I looked in the fire I see an image of hell

Will I be able to tell when I say my farewell

Am I on Satan’s list for being atheist

Or as a humanist will I just cease to exist

Or by angels be kissed?

Will I be missed?

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