After the Blazing Dies

At dVerse, we have been challenged to take one line from the poem “Burning the Old Year” by Naomi Shihab Nye, and incorporate that one line into a poem of our own.  Perhaps the greatest challenge of this prompt is to choose just one line from her poem which is filled with wonderful lines. (I ended up using the final two lines of her poem as the final 2 lines of mine).

The walks not taken don’t hurt my feet
but they starve my eyes of scenery
The stories left untold won’t leave my throat parched,
but leave empty the ears of my friends
The pies left uneaten may leave me un-fat
but my mouth devoid of flavour
If I don’t risk love, I fear no heartbreak,
but I break bread alone
The giggles not shared with my children and wife
leave my sides without an ache, but not my soul.
The never-lit bonfire won’t burn my skin
but will leave me shivering
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

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21 thoughts on “After the Blazing Dies

  1. The never-lit bonfire won’t burn my skin
    but will leave me shivering
    only the things I didn’t do
    crackle after the blazing dies.

    Such an incredible close to the poem 🙂
    Beautifully done.

  2. We all have to take risks to experience the fullness of life ~ Love this part best:

    If I don’t risk love, I fear no heartbreak,
    but I break bread alone

    A lovely share Bryan, thanks ~

  3. Wow, Brian! You have really made some good points with your poem and used Nye’s lines masterfully. Each couplet makes a very strong point. You really show the value of DOING things, not taking the safe route – but taking the risk to DO. It is in the risky things that one can be rewarded well. Bravo!

  4. There’s such an endearing sweetness to this, Bryan. You tell us what we miss when we don’t do certain things in life but how there is always a repercussion to that choice. I especially loved what you would miss if not laughing with your wife and children.

  5. How could I not like this – you chose precisely the same lines as me and closed your poem with it, as I did.
    This regret of ‘what could have been, if only…’ is one that haunts us frequently.

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