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
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
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
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
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
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?