Song of Fire – Part IX (Elegy)

After a time, the fire starts to die
down to embers. Eventually, those, too
fade from bright red to dull grey like some eye
that is losing sight. We could renew
the flames with more wood, but without a sound
we all seem to agree that this holy
time must soon come to an end. A profound
hush descends, as each one of us slowly
gives in to contemplation. Could it be
that silence is more sacred than that which
preceded it? Is it possible we
see clearest when the world seems dark as pitch?
When the light from the flames finally ends,
around the circle a silence descends.


the prompt at dVerse today is to write an elegy.  I don’t know if this quite fits the bill, although as I wrote this piece, the image of a group of family and friends standing around the bed of a dying loved one was constantly in my mind (more specifically, me, my wife, and my wife’s family standing around the bed of my father-in-law as he finally surrendered the fight).  In this poem, the fire is very much a metaphor for life.  The renewal of the fire with wood might be seen as leaving the machines hooked up…  Yes, my poem is highly metaphorical, but does speak of a wonderful man whom I still miss very much.

I had actually written this prior to hearing the prompt, but it seemed to fit the bill.


13 thoughts on “Song of Fire – Part IX (Elegy)

  1. I think this fits so well as an elegy.. and as you say that there are those cases when we feel we shouldn’t feed the fire any more… so sad, yet we might need that darkness to see clear… (just like you say)

  2. Metaphors are often used in elegies. I love that you shared this for the prompt, Bryan. It truly does fit the bill beautifully. When my father passed there were many family members who gathered around his bed too…clasping hands.

  3. As far as I can tell, it does fit the prompt even though I’m new to it myself. The best part about your poem is that it can be associated with any life related aspect. The last breath of someone, of a relationship… anything.

  4. Oh this is wonderful. I felt the depth of that holy silence, the question of adding to the fire, the acceptance that it was better not to……..a beautiful and moving elegy. There is a holiness at the bedside of the dying. Accompanying the dying person is a sacred trust.

  5. I can see the image of a group of family and friends standing around the bed of a dying loved one but I think thatyour poem also describes the gentle fading of grief. Wonderful elegy!

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