Saturday, January 18, 2014

I lit myself on fire once.

Written during (not for) the opening of Chapter 2014, Philadelphia via Concordia, KS
I lit myself on fire once.
Not on purpose, but still.
The match I intended to blow out
consumed my hair and eye lashes.

All around me was a flash
of light and heat
and in my heart
was panic.

The mystics speak of being set
on fire
by the Love of God,
in a Love all-consuming.

I'm sure it comes like a flash
and I'm sure fear must be
extinguished first
or it won't burn bright for long.

I feared I'd be disfigured
that my whole self might go up
in a cloud of smoke.
Singed and shaken I emerged.

But I imagine when God sets a fire
it is a controlled burn
it gives life even as it takes it
and only singes what resists.

The blaze is set deep within
no puff of smoke or putrid smell
only life,
the most combustible fuel of all.

You can't set that type of fire yourself
No, it is a flame beyond
your control
If you try, you're bound to get burned.

As a child, they told me
not to play with matches.
You'll set yourself on fire.
How right they were.

I was set on fire once
through no fault of my own
I consented to being consumed.
I could not hold the flames at bay.

Let go and let it burn my Love
whispered in my ear.
A flash of tongues about my head,
White hot passion in my soul.

Engulfed but not afraid I stood
A box of matches at my side
The emptiness inside was full

A flame that wouldn't die. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for expressing so well the fire within you and fueling mine in the process, Colleen. Your sister, Peg