In fire we found our voice. The endless howl
of vowel’s “ah…oh” pleasure and “oh! ah!” pain
opened, closed inconsonant. Furrowed scowl,
flailed fists, or grimaced teeth could not explain
stygian fears of neversafe. But fire
gave us a dream of dawn – a reason bright
to come together in the night. We stoked,
in darkness, great blazes, a golden pyre
cascading sparks that burned our cheeks midflight
as wails choked on thick smoke the flames invoked.
We learned the plosive pops of ember snap
dry kindling’s gurgutteral velar crack
and felt our tongues warm with power to entrap
crude ululation front, middle and back.
Shivering before, we after burned. We named
our us, our home, our likes and betterheres
our other, different, muchworseovertheres
We mined our lands, We herded unwilds – tamed
them slower, fatter – sizzling grease, clear
on the coals, licking busy lips, we cheer
fantastic stories. Truth flickers. Long, tall,
shadowy tales of hero, god and beast
stride with enormous reach in deed and fall
from grace as monsters, spawned of horror, feast
on primal fears, displaced and undefined.
“Someone will save us.” We need. We plead with loud
voices in mighty chorus. “We’re too frail!”
we say, we pray – too weak – Grasping with blind
abyssbound eyes, relentless we unshroud
enlightenment by clinging to a veil:
words, words, more ashen words. We char our tongues.
We scorch the earth with ritual and state.
Jabbering drivelous bloodlines, our young
rouse ancient desires and communioncate
with cryptic hosts. Infernos rise. Raw tears
stream down as coughing pandemonium
relieves our worried minds with apish thought.
You gave us fire. You gave us words. But fears
consume our livers still and chain us numb.
For light cannot dispel a darkness sought.