Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

An open fire

An open fire.

When you look at a coal fire what do you see,
is it just a source of heat, or are you like me?
For within that grate is a reflection of all,
not just a fire, a hearth or a hole in the wall!
Preparation starts with the rolling of sticks
(a `skill` learned from mum when I was just six!)
It’s an `art form` that needs most careful consideration,
tricks(no `new fangled `lighters)from a past generation.
Newspapers-from the old print springs a new story,
re-hashed, re-incarnated in a novel form of glory,
first a roll, then a fold and soon it is done,
such ingenuity `sparks` this little piece of the sun,
but first, yesterday’s `leftovers` must be taken away,
the ashtray emptied and then it’s ready for today,
sticks on the top-base of `scrunched up` paper,
will make it easy to start-but `oh, what a caper!`
`Top it off` with `icing`-some call it black gold,
and now awaits our `child` to banish the cold,
next, light the base paper and this sleeper awake,
it starts with a flicker-its first breath to take,
then watch as it grows in stature and in strength,
like a youngster-impatient, full of promise, but, at length
it settles down and into middle age, grows,
with beautiful hues and dancing shadows,
a plume of smoke from a split piece of coal,
yes, our fire’s got warmth, but it’s also got soul.
Throughout the long winter nights, it’s heat we need,
and when the flames draw low and it begs a `feed`
I throw on some coal and then maybe a log,
this scene of tranquillity made purr-fect by a `mog`(cat)
lying there on the mat in a classical pose,
curled up by the hearth, with it’s tail `round it’s nose,
and so, by and by, with the dying embers,
I gaze into the flames and my mind remembers
times gone past and a childhood so dear,
loved ones, some long gone, they do all re-appear.

But now it’s late and our fire has grown `old`,
the lovely warm room has suddenly gone cold,
the long day is done and is all but dead,
I put the cat out, then it’s straight off to bed!

Jennifer Kersey 1993.
Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted by paintedlady on May 01, 2021

1:53 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 2,026
Words 378
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 1, 36, 4, 1

Discuss this Jennifer Kersey poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "An open fire" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/98819/an-open-fire>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    February 2023

    Poetry Contest

    Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Which of the following was the last to evolve?
    • A. Tragedy
    • B. Invective
    • C. Dithyramb
    • D. Epic poetry